During Tuesday night’s Pullman City Council meeting, it became clear that salaries and benefits will need to be cut in order to balance the budget, something that has been avoided since 2010.
"I wanted to go into the rationale, it wasn't just for the benefit of city employees also, as you may recall, we did not want to reduce services nor contribute to the recession by laying off," said city supervisor John Sherman.
Pullman finance director Bill Mulholland reminded the council that 75% of the current budget is salary and benefits and that in order to level the playing field for the 2013 budget, half a million dollars will need to be cut. The question remains of how to divvy it up between departments.
City council members will meet with the heads of each department to determine where cuts will be made. There is also the possibility that the city will levy taxes or help fund less essential departments such as the senior center, the library, and parks and recreation.
In the meantime, no department can fill vacant positions unless the council approves. More progress will be made in the meeting on August 28th.