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Mahoning Money woes
February 19, 2009 - Joe Gorman
Layoffs at the sheriff's office and juvenile justice center with employees for the later taking a 5 percent pay cut effective March 1 could be a harbinger of things to come in Mahoning County.
Just when it seemed that the county had its chronic financial woes under control after commissioners somehow convinced taxpayers to pass a permanent sales tax a couple of years ago, the hard economy is taking its tool on county coffers.
It's no secret that county officials have been holding talks with union officials and department heads looking for ways to cut costs, and the JJC and sheriff are two of the largest departments in the county.
Still, I wonder why they took the hits first before other departments. There has to be more to come. Juvenile Judge Theresa Dellick told me today that after the layoffs at the JJC, commissioners came back and told her that financial projections for 2009 were worse than they thought and more action on her end was necessary, so they went with the paycut.
That tells me there's a lot more intense talking going on behind the scenes than we've been told. And it also tells me that with Dellick and Sheriff Randall Wellington biting the bullet, there has to be more cuts coming elsewhere.
I hope I'm wrong. But this mess just doesn't seem to be getting any better.
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