Shelby Co. mayor says government jobs could be on the line - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Co. mayor says government jobs could be on the line

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County mayor says the rising cost of government compelled him to look into efficiencies. Mayor Luttrell says as a result, jobs could be on the line.

The mayor presented his efficiency plan to commissioners Wednesday.

"It's going to cover everything from operations to restructuring to doing business a different way," he said.

Luttrell says government jobs could be a casualty.

"Anything we're talking about as far as efficiency is concerned could have an impact on jobs."

He says government is just not sustainable at this pace.

He is also looking at employee benefits.

Mayor Luttrell says the cost of employee health insurance policies and pensions have accelerated.

"If we can't pay for the benefits, we've got to make some adjustments," he explained.

The fire department could also get an overhaul.

Luttrell says annexation has impacted the county's ability to pay for the fire department, which is funded through fire fees.

"As we lose those unincorporated parcels of land, that means we're losing revenues," he added.

The county will also consider restoring Head Start's non-profit status, by turning it over to a 501c3.

Shelby County is one of the only counties in the nation operating a Head Start program.

"Really, government is not the best place to be running Head Start programs. If you look across the United States, we're an oddity," said Luttrell.

In addition to the overhaul of employee benefits, the fire department and Head Start, the mayor will look at restructuring county purchasing, consolidation of services, and a more efficient approach to general operations.

"We've got to do a deep dive looking for more efficiency," he said.

The efficient study will undergo full review by the Shelby County Commission before any changes are set in stone.

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