BOISE, ID – Boise firefighters and police officers will help save the city nearly $1.3 million. That’s because the city faces a budget shortfall.
Outside City Hall this afternoon, Mayor David Bieter explains why he asked reporters to stand in high winds.
Mayor David Bieter: “On a blustery but beautiful day in the city of Boise. This is a great day for all of us, really a historic day.”
Historic because more than 500 unionized police officers and firefighters agreed to forego cost of living raises next October. Fire Captain and Union Leader Greg Womack says it’s the price they’ll pay to avoid layoffs during tough economic times.
Greg Womack: “Even though it was asking a lot to give up a raise. It was the right thing to do at the right time and we were happy to accommodate the city for their future budget issues.”
Boise faces a budget shortfall of about $4 million in Fiscal Year 2013. Mayor Bieter cautions that number is an estimate until the fiscal year begins. But he’s looking at ways to bring the budget in line.
Mayor David Bieter: “We have looked for early retirements and packages to give incentives for that. We most likely will have to do some layoffs. We’re hoping that number isn’t very high.”
Since 2009, Boise has cut the equivalent of more than 40 full-time employees. This includes workers who took early retirement and nine city employees who were laid off.
Copyright 2011 Boise State Public Radio