Council to reconsider layoffs after split millage vote

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Staffing decisions in the wake of a public safety millage’s passage Tuesday will have to wait for the incoming city council, a city official said.

Residents voted 5,815 to 3,591 in favor of the 3.5 millage increase to fund the Police and Fire departments but voted down a proposal for 3.3 mills to fund the city’s $2 million yearly bond payments for its failed studio property. The “no,” votes for that proposal came in at 5,630 over 3,655 votes in favor of it.

Following a council vote in October, 30-day layoff notices were issued to 18 police employees and 10 firefighters last week among other layoffs. Following the vote, some of the layoffs could be rescinded, but City Administrator John Zech said Thursday that he wasn’t sure how many positions the millage would fund.

“I’m not one hundred percent certain what we’ll be recommending to the council,” Zech said, “but it’s safe to say that all of those layoffs that were approved on Oct. 11, the city will not have to go through with.”

Zech said, however, that the failure of the studio property millage will require the city’s annual $2 million subsidy to continue to come from its struggling general fund, which faces a $4 million deficit if no layoffs take place.

The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, but Zech said the meeting is to mostly include the swearing-in of the new council and mayor and doesn’t expect decisions on layoffs until the Nov. 22 meeting.