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Job cuts rest with manager
County could save $500,000
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Forsyth County News

It appears the final say on what jobs are trimmed in Forsyth County's government will fall to the county manager.

The county commission has given Doug Derrer the authority to cut $500,000 in staffed positions as one of the cost-saving measures to remedy a 2009 budget deficit of $6.2 million.

Commissioners reviewed the deficit again Tuesday in a work session. Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said he thought it worthwhile for the county to "investigate reductions in staff that would be necessary to provide some savings without having a major adverse effect on services."

It's not clear how many jobs or departments may be affected, though those decisions could come in the next several weeks. Derrer was out of town

Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomas said officials have identified certain positions.

"We would have to come up with enough positions to equal $500,000 in savings to the general fund," he said.

No staff cuts have been made yet.

"How many positions it is depends on what positions they are," Thomas said. "But obviously, there's going to be some staff reductions."

Other ways officials are cutting the 2009 deficit include four unpaid holidays this year, as well as redirecting money from funds for contingency, capital projects and vehicle replacement.

The commission is also looking at options for erasing a projected $14 million budget shortfall in 2010.

Commissioners voted Aug. 19 to raise some employee costs associated with health care next year.

In July, they voted down a tax hike, which would have put a $5.7 million dent in the budget gap.

The county shed 26 employees in 2008 as a result of a deficit. It also slashed the budget across the board by 5 percent.