Layoffs considered by Houston city council

March 2, 2011 10:05:36 AM PST
Faced with a huge budget deficit, the City of Houston could be in store for some layoffs. The issue sparked some big discussions Wednesday morning during the city council meeting. The budget continues to be a top concern at city hall. City council members are preparing to discuss an ordinance that would make way for some layoffs.

There have been some strategic layoffs in the past year, on a small scale. There have also been furloughs for some city employees, not including the police and fire departments. But the city continues to consider more and more drastic measures as it tries to meet the budget shortfalls for this and next fiscal years.

Up for discussion today, and of some concern to some city council members, is what type of employees exactly could be laid off.

"I just hate it when we say, well, being a police officer is more important than being a solid works workers. And being a solid works worker is more important than fixing the street, and what have you. Because what if somebody's street floods and people are going crazy, because their street hadn't been fixed," said Houston city council member Jolanda Jones.

Are there going to be layoffs? That discussion continues. The discussion also concerns whether layoffs are the only way. There's the possibility of pay cuts to help meet the budget shortfall, instead of people just losing their jobs.