City leaders speak out against proposal to cut 400 jobs - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City leaders speak out against proposal to cut 400 jobs

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - City leaders are speaking out against the 400 job cuts proposed during Tuesday night's meeting. One of the council members who voted against the proposal says he has a better plan.

It all comes down to next Tuesday's meeting when the city council will meet and vote on the budget. They could vote to cut the jobs of hundreds of city employees.

"Mayor Wharton. It's his job to cut those," said Councilman Jim Strickland. "He doesn't have to cut firefighters or cops on the street."

Councilman Strickland makes no bones about it. He is in favor of eliminating city jobs, but not at the expense of public safety.

"Public safety does not have to be adversely affected," he said.

Strickland suggests cutting top brass and other administrative staff at the city police and fire departments. He says the city council needs to vote to do everything it can to prevent a property tax increase.

"I think the last thing Memphis needs is a tax increase," Strickland said. "Memphis, by far, has the highest tax rate in the state."

Strickland says when looking at the bigger picture, the proposed 400 job cuts only equal 6 percent of the total workforce. He thinks it is still too early to tell whether the council will have to raise taxes and cut jobs to balance the budget.

Mayor Wharton is meeting with council members one-on-one from now until next Tuesday, when the city council votes on the budget proposal for the final time.

Memphis' Chief Administrative Officer George Little does not think it is possible to cut 400 city jobs without impacting public safety.

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