The City of Opa-Locka will not have layoffs as part of the upcoming fiscal year budget that starts on October 1st, city officials decided at last week’s commission meeting.
The decision comes at a time when most governmental agencies are looking to cut back services to balance budgets.
“If we cut back on staff, then we would have to cut back on services to our customers,” said City Manager Kelvin L. Baker, Sr.
“It’s important we provide continuity in services to our residents and businesses,” said Baker.
City officials adopted a balanced budget after voting not to appropriate funds towards rent in the Town Center for administrative offices.
In a move to cut back on personnel, city administrators decided not to fill vacant positions. Of the 35 vacant positions, 14 in the police department, ten will go un-funded. A budget vote goes before city officials tonight.
“If there were layoffs in our area, residents would see less service,” said King Leonard, a city roads and streets maintenance supervisor. He said limited bulk trash pickup and drivers would notice fewer pothole repairs.
Leonard said he’s seen his division scale back from 12 employees when he started working for the city five years ago to only five employees remaining today.
“If I got laid off, I couldn’t take care of my family,” said Leonard.