Oklahoma City budget issues prompt city to cut 37 positions

BY BRYAN DEAN Published: February 10, 2010
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Midyear budget cuts approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma City Council will mean 37 fewer jobs and reduced services, and will require the city to dip into its contingency funds.

Discussion of the cuts was minimal after the city council members spent two previous meetings and a budget workshop reviewing the gloomy financial situation.

After 12 straight months of sales tax revenues below previous-year collections, the city had a $25 million shortfall to deal with.

All departments were asked to cut 2 percent from their budgets, although council members dipped into MAPS 3 use taxes to prevent layoffs for police and firefighters.

The parks and fire departments each lost seven positions. The cuts in the fire department were civilian jobs. Eight other departments cut jobs and the rest were able to absorb the cut without eliminating positions. Most of the jobs cut were vacant positions.

Larger cuts are expected as council members discuss the fiscal year 2010-11. City Manager Jim Couch has asked department heads to prepare 12 percent cuts, with layoffs and other personnel cuts likely.

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