City lays off four workers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

By Emily Ford
Anticipating the toughest budget year in a quarter-century, the city of Salisbury has laid off four employees.
Fibrant marketing director Len Clark, two employees of Salisbury-Rowan Utilities and one from Parks and Recreation lost their jobs last week.
Fibrant is the city’s new telecommunications utility, which sells Internet, cable TV and phone services to residents.
The layoffs came as the city attempts to close a revenue gap for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
The city will save about $200,000 as a result of the layoffs.
“We value the service of these employees, and they have lost their job through no fault of their own,” City Manager David Treme said in a press release. “We wish we did not have to take these actions, but given the reality of today’s economy, these steps were necessary.”
Treme will recommend other actions to balance the city’s budget at the May 3 City Council meeting.
“As you know, the nation has gone through a significant recession over the last several years,” Treme said in the statement. “To meet the reduced revenue levels, it has been necessary to realign our city organization.”
To balance the 2011-12 budget, the city must reduce employment levels, he said.
To lessen impact on current employees, the city has not filled vacant positions, utilized transfers, provided incentives for early retirement and have implemented the reduction in force policy, Treme said.
The policy uses the criteria of experience, performance and essentiality as policy guidelines, he said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.