City of Kent to lay off 10 employees in January
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
December 7, 2011 · Updated 5:34 PM
The city of Kent will lay off 10 employees in January because of declining revenues in order to balance the 2012 budget.
Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke announced the layoffs in a Wednesday media release. Two employees also will be moved to open positions in other departments and three employees will have hours reduced.
“Besides these 10 employees, an additional 20 vacant positions are also being eliminated.” Cooke said. “These reductions, plus additional new non-personnel cuts, are expected to save the city approximately $640,000.”
With the exception of Employee Services, the city’s human resources function, staff reductions occurred in every department, including police and the mayor’s office.
Cooke said the personnel cuts will result in some reduced operating hours and a range of service impacts that will be analyzed in more detail as the City Council enters its final budget deliberations.
The council will vote on adoption of the 2012 budget at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at City Hall.
“This unprecedented recession continues to strain our ability to provide the quality of services our residents expect," Cooke said. "I wish to thank all city employees for their commitment and expertise. We are weathering these difficult times as well as we are, thanks to the hard work and dedication of each and every employee."
Department directors notified the 10 employees they will be laid off effective Jan. 12, Cooke said.
This round of personnel reductions is in addition to the elimination of 90 positions since the recession began. Other steps taken by city officials to align expenditures with declining revenues have included delaying or canceling dozens of capital projects and reducing or eliminating funding for various programs and contract agencies.
“Unfortunately, these latest cuts are unlikely to be enough in light of proposed reductions to state-shared revenues as the Legislature attempts to deal with the state’s budget challenges," Cooke said. "We’ll know more as the 2012 session gets underway."
City positions cut
(10 laid off, 2 left vacant, 2 transferred)
• Economic Community Development administrative assistant
• Park facilities planning coordinator
• Parks program coordinator
• Information tech senior systems analyst
• Public works fleet mechanic
• Public works fleet maintenance worker
• Public works maintenance worker (vegetation)
• Code enforcement officer
• Building inspector
• Police accreditation coordinator
• Police public education specialist
• Police records specialist
• Senior finance officer
• Crime victim coordinatorContact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.