The city of Jackson has a budget deficiency of 15 million dollars. In an effort to reshape the financial flaw, the mayor has proposed a furlough plan. City Council President Melvin Priester is refuting this decision, demanding an explanation.
"I know we're under a deadline, but we got a lot of information we still need to get before we can make a decision as a council, so let's be patient and give the mayor an opportunity to explain why he's proposed what he's proposed," Priester says.
Mayor Tony Yarber says paying city workers are one of Jackson's biggest expenses, and a minimal furlough could yield financial prosperity.
"What we don't want to see is where we're still supporting an antiquated system that puts us in a position that puts us in a position where the city can't afford to sustain itself," says Yarber.
The mayor, referring to using the city's cash reserve to balance the budget, says that will no longer suffice for Jackson. He is adamant about the furlough plan, anticipating 4 point 9 million dollars in savings over the next two fiscal years.
According to Council President Melvin Priester, the council will not approve the furlough until every possible option has been exhausted. He says this is a touchy subject because of the lives that will be affected.
"This morning I wrote the words "Patience" in big letters across my computer screen because we have to be patient right now. We are going to do what's in their best interest," says Priester.
The mayor says the furlough plan will take effect October 16. After that, every fourth Friday of the month, employees will be furloughed, exempting part-time employees working 30 hours or less, police officers, and fire fighters, as well as part-time City Council members.