KALAMAZOO -- Just a week before the election, the current Kalamazoo City Commission has made a tough choice, eliminating 32 positions to balance this year’s budget. Even more jobs may have to go to avoid red ink next year, but that will be a decision for the next commission.
Manager Ken Collard says last night’s special meeting was necessary to make it possible for the job cuts to take effect by year’s end.
Mayor Bobby Hopewell called it “ugly stuff” and Commissioner Seann McCann said they were doing clean-up work for other governments that have failed to do their job.
Collard says 19 more jobs may be trimmed from the Enterprise funds when he proposes next year’s budget next month, bringing the total to 51 positions eliminated. In the end the commission gave reluctant but unanimous support to the proposal.
Collard says the city had 11-hundred employees in the early 80’s. After these layoffs and eliminations, it will have 730.