Archive for Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Officials hope to avoid laying off county workers

December 18, 2002

Leavenworth County provides jobs for about 350 full-time employees and about 40 more jobs that are part-time or on call. But in the face of state budget cuts, no one knows how certain these jobs are.

At last Wednesday's county commission breakfast with county department heads and state legislators, Rep. Candace Ruff, D-Leavenworth, asked bluntly:

"Are you going to lay people off is that the bottom line?"

Commissioner Don Navinsky answered: "If it comes down to that, we will have to let people go."

Navinsky noted that the juvenile justice authority has already lost employees.

"Their contracts say when the money's gone, you're gone," Navinsky said.

Commissioner Joe Daniels said that's partly why commissioners recently enacted a wage and hiring freeze.

"What we're trying to be right now is as conscientious as we can because if we act early it will lessen the impact next year," Daniels said.

James S. Meadows, director of human resources for Leavenworth County, said he hoped commissioners' action would prevent job losses.

"They're trying to do everything they can to prevent layoffs," Meadows said. "That's a last resort. : We're trying to do everything we can to prevent people from losing their jobs in Leavenworth County. We have excellent employees. : We want to keep them, that's why we're being proactive in the freeze they put in."

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