Early retirements, layoffs and furloughs are all on the table to help Sedgwick County balance its budget. The county needs to reduce its budget by $9 million in 2012 and $8 million in 2013.
Sedgwick County Manager Bill Buchanan told commissioners during a staff meeting Tuesday that he'll bring recommendations to them in the next couple of weeks. He says they are working out the details for early retirement packages.
He says he also thinks layoffs make more sense when compared to furloughs. Buchanan says furloughs will only offer short term savings. He says when crunching the numbers, even if revenues start to increase the county will not be able to catch up and balance the budget. He says significant changes need to be made and commissioners need to decide how county government will operate from here on out.
Buchanan says Wichita State will also conduct some focus groups with employees to also see how they feel about pay cuts and layoffs. Commissioner Tim Norton says it may sound harsh, but this is a time when employees who excel and work hard will benefit and the ones who don't will likely be let go. Commissioners Karl Peterjohn and Richard Ranzau says they understand where the manager is coming from, but they want everything calculated including the cost savings of furloughs.