News and Tribune

Clark County

November 14, 2009

Clark County lays off more than 20

Budget problems mean services likely to suffer, too

Following the realization that the Clark County Council would be unable to fund the 2010 budget at the same level as 2009, it passed along some difficult choices to county department heads.

Each department in the county has been asked to cut 30 percent out of its budget for the next year. While some county department heads have thanked the council for allowing them to determine where the cuts would be made, in nearly every office, it has come down to reducing personnel.

The cuts made to five offices housed in the Clark County government building are examined below.



Auditor

The county auditor’s office budget has been reduced from an approved amount of $636,109 for 2009 to a submitted amount to the state of $445,276 for 2010.

“I’m going to lose two part-time and one full-time employee,” said Auditor Keith Groth.

He said personnel was the only area in which he was able to cut, but considered other options — including reducing hours and merging salaries instead of laying workers off. How the cuts will affect the services provided by the office is something that remains to be seen.

“[The] impact will really begin Jan. 1,” Groth said. “That’s when a lot of offices are going to have to operate with reduced personnel.”



Assessor

The assessor’s office will have to operate down six employees, according to Assessor Vicky Kent-Haire.

Kent-Haire cut about $220,000 out of her personal services budget, a place where she already was operating understaffed.

One employee in the office volunteered to retire, but the remaining positions will be lost, in an area Kent-Haire said already was a problem.

According to the Indiana Association of Assessing Officers, the Clark County office was 12 employees short before the cuts were made, she said.

Some funding was left in the submitted 2010 budget — $399,105, down from $570,150 in 2009 — to account for overtime hours and state-required training for employees.

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