JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The budget crisis discussed for months by Jacksonville officials has become very tangible for 150 city workers who learned they will be laid off and 150 others who will be demoted.
Wednesday night the city issued a list of hundreds of names and titles that will be cut because of the tightened budget.
Channel 4 spoke with those who approved the cuts. They say it was a necessary evil since the city had to make up for 5 percent lower revenue from property taxes this year.
Three hundred people are impacted by the cuts: 150 employees will be laid off and 150 employees will be demoted.
"We are in unprecedented times," said City Councilman John Crescimbeni. "We had a significant budget shortfall because of lower property taxes coming in this year, that got compounded by a high pension contribution."
The planned layoffs and demotions will save the city of Jacksonville millions.
- The library took the biggest hit with layoffs and demotions. 75 people will be bumped down a position in the library system, and 33 positions have been eliminated.
- 40 positions with the Public Works Department were cut.
- The Jacksonville Children's Commission will face 16 cuts.
- The Department of Neighborhoods will lose seven positions.
"It's very unfortunate. It is a tough time right now in our economy and that's part of the choice we make when we said it, when we ran and committed to not raising taxes," said City Councilwoman Lori Boyer.
Employees were notified this week of the cuts and put on paid administrative leave. The city is providing career transition services and a job fair for employees who have lost their job because of these cuts.
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