Jackson City Council makes deep cuts to save programs - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson City Council makes deep cuts to save programs

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson city officials approved a balanced budget Tuesday while making deep cuts to city departments in the process to make sure they saved programs they say are a priority.

Jackson City Council members and Mayor Tony Yarber were at odds on where to make cuts to save the Americorp, Early Childhood Development and summer job programs.

In the end, the council decided the Mayor's office could stand to lose over $100,000 in travel, salaries and benefits.  Along with that, $150,000 will taken from the Parks and Recreation budget, spelling the demise for one of two city owned golf courses.

"It's unfortunate today that council members have chosen to go above and beyond what the department directors believe will keep this city functional," Mayor Yarber said. "Now, we're looking at a situation where we could potentially be losing an entire service which is the PEG network."

This means there will be more city job cuts - on top of the 28 already said to be eliminated by the end of the month. 

Council members say it wasn't an easy decision.

"I know the Mayor needs those employees and the perks and the cars and all of that," said Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon. "But when we have a budget year like this, we just can't afford all of that."

The council did vote through an amendment to create an savings account on top of their reserve fund, with some saying they are committed to increasing revenues to avoid more cuts.

"It's our job as city council people to ensure that were in the best possible financial situation for the citizens of Jackson to ensure services can be provided," said Ward 6 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix. "And it's a tough decision, it really is."

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