The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday June 10th

Local Officials Claim Layoffs Unnecessary

State officials recently announced that the state's economy is expected to grow more slowly this year than previously expected.

But Carrboro Town Manager Bob Morgan said careful budgeting will prevent the slowing economy from affecting town employees.

So far, Midway, U.S. Airways and some furniture plants have reported job cuts or are planning them.

But Morgan said statewide layoffs will not affect how business is conducted in Carrboro.

"We budgeted conservatively on revenues in anticipation there would be a slow down in state economy, and we haven't had to face shortages," Morgan said. "If we lay off, we'd have to reduce services."

Local news agencies have reported that U.S. Airways in Charlotte plans to cut 1,700 jobs, while the Raleigh-Durham based Midway Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy after the attacks, already has laid off 700 employees.

Another 1,000 employees at furniture plants in Hickory also have lost their jobs.

Bill Stockard, Chapel Hill assistant town manager, said that even though the economy has suffered, there is no need to reduce town employees.

"The town, and government in general, still needs to provide services to the public," Stockard said.

"This involves keeping the staff available to do that."

Stockard said it is still important to consider the economic slowdown when assessing the budget, even though layoffs are not now a problem for Chapel Hill.

"Economic recessions are always a reality that might affect budgets," Stockard said. "The town tries to plan accordingly. It is important to retain employees, council and staff and try to address employee turnover issues."

Morgan said Carrboro eventually will have to face the slowing economy and will need to take action to avoid setbacks. "In the next years, the budget will be influenced by the state economy, and we will take a look at local economy when making the budget," Morgan said. "(We need to) be conservative about requesting any personnel needs.

"There will be very little expansion in next year's budget."

Mayor Mike Nelson said economic downturns tend to increase the need for government services, making layoffs unnecessary. "We haven't had to lay off anyone," Nelson said.

"The economy affects businesses and government differently."

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