The City of Youngstown is looking at a large deficit going into 2009 and there is no current way around it. A 5mill check is not going to fall out of the sky so there are cuts that need to be made.
If you take the average workers salary of 60k and look at 900 employees, if you were to cut everyones salary by 8% that would equal out to an average of 4800x900= $4,320,000. Along with raising the contribution to health insurance from 10-20% and that would be a problem solver right there. As a City worker, are you willing to do that?
Let's say that you are not willing to do that and the unions decide they are not going to work with the city on this issue. Ok, the next solution is layoffs and here is what I would do.
I would first look at the positions in the city the are "not needed"(you know, the assistant to the assistant to the assistant administrator). Let's say that we find 20 jobs doing that so there are 40 to go.
I would then look at performance reviews and the amount of people that use sick time. I believe that if someone uses over 80% of there sick time throughout the year that person does not really want to want to work for the city. Working for the city is a privilege folks and if you feel the need to call off all the time and not want to be working here, maybe it is time for you to find another job. Let's say that we find 25 jobs with this method, which I am sure that is an underestimate.
I would offer some voluntarily layoffs with them being the first on the list to come back once we are out of this crisis. A lot of people would like to spend time with their families, start a family, etc. And last but not least.
The City of Youngstown and the surrounding townships need to have a more regionalized approach and work together. For example, if Boardman was on board with the great JEDD program, they would not be in a crisis either at this point. Austintown is boasting now that they do not need us, but they will be in the same situation in a couple of years.