Flaggs: Vacant city jobs won’t be filled

Published 8:36 pm Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. served notice Thursday that he plans to be working to streamline the city’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget by eliminating some job openings and denying further employee pay raises.

At a Thursday afternoon budget meeting, the mayor instructed director of finance and administration Doug Whittington to prepare a list of all jobs that have been open for 60 days or more, telling Aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour and the city’s division heads, “We’re not going to fill any more jobs that have been open for 60 days.

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“If the job has been vacant for more than 60 days, we don’t need it. In order to get that job back, you’ve got to come before the board.”

Flaggs added he was also looking at developing a policy to hire temporary workers for some city departments.

VPD, VFD the exception

He said the 60-day order did not apply to the police and fire departments, which are short on manpower and trying to increase their ranks.

Flaggs also said there will be no more individual pay increases for city employees without a complete job description.

“People are asking us (the board) to give this person or that person a little more money,” he said. “If it’s under the education incentive, that’s one thing.” Employees can get a raise in pay if they return to school or get special training to help them in their jobs.

If an employee takes an interim position to replace a supervisor or division head, he said, they will get a $1 an hour increase until the position is filled by a permanent hire.

“We’re looking at this (pay scales),” Flaggs said. “Doug (Whittington) said that we cannot afford this raise unless we do some tough things, and I’m here to take that walk.”

Flaggs said the board has already cut travel and training for the new budget by 25 percent.

“That doesn’t mean that you can’t travel or train, but if you exceed that budget, you have to get special permission (from the board) if you think it is necessary for that person to be trained,” Flaggs said.

“We’ve got to be able to be more accountable on these dollars in these departments. Do not have employees call me asking for a raise,” he said. “We’ve got to get this (spending) under control.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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