April 27, 2005
The Mesa City Council heard more pleas Tuesday from department heads who said their employees are overworked and the city has fallen behind on equipment replacement, by up to seven years in some cases.
The council was told Mesa needs cars, garbage trucks and the gas to fuel them as part of ongoing hearings on the city’s budget for next year. It needs more money to repair the streets those vehicles drive on. It needs a tax attorney to go after sales-tax holdouts. And it needs to find money to pay two of its 4,100 employees, who may otherwise be laid off.
The council is looking at a preliminary budget of $678.5 million for fiscal 2005-06, which begins July 1, and $681.1 million for 2006-07.
The jobs on the line are in the general services department, which includes human resources.
General services manager Rich Lorig wouldn’t say which jobs are in jeopardy.
The council will make its funding recommendations Thursday, but preferences emerged Tuesday. Mayor Keno Hawker said he would scale historic preservation efforts back than spend $174,000 to hire two people for the program as requested.
Councilman Kyle Jones said Mesa went through a long process to become a certified local government eligible for federal historic preservation grants. "We do not want to jeopardize that," he said.