Public Works director, fire battalion chief cut in Lewiston layoffs

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LEWISTON — Public Works Director Paul Boudreau topped the list of layoffs announced by City Administrator Ed Barrett on Wednesday.

Barrett released a list of 10 occupied city staff positions cut from the 2010-11 budget. Councilors on Tuesday directed Barrett to begin staff layoffs as a way to cut the budget.

Barrett met with the laid-off employees Wednesday.

With Boudreau gone, Barrett said he plans to re-combine the Public Works and Public Services departments, with Public Services Director David Jones at the head of the combined department.

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“Now it’s up to Dave and his key staff to work out the details,” Barrett said. “There probably will be some reshuffling and reassignment of jobs as it all gets reconstituted.”

Fire Battalion Chief Bruce McKay’s job was also eliminated

Eight other jobs were cut, but Barrett said those are occupied by union employees and they have bumping rights. That allows them to apply for lower-paying jobs within the same departments.

“There will be changes that people will notice,” Barrett said. “The employees that had positions cut will reshuffle and it may take several days for it all to get worked out. But the end result is that one more person will lose their job because of this.”

The staff cuts were made in addition to the council’s decision to leave 12 positions vacant. Those include three firefighters, two police officers, a heavy equipment operator and a carpenter in Public Works and a business office manger in the Public Services department. Cut also was a vacant secretary position in Planning, the deputy community development director and the special assistant to the city administrator. That job was commonly referred to as the city’s energy czar.

The city will also not fill the position held by Human Resources Director Denis Jean when he retires in January 2011.

The cuts amount to 21.5 employees. The city had 365 employees before the cut; after the cuts, the city has 343.5 employees.

Councilors have been working to thin a $43.6 million spending spending plan released in March. That budget would be a slight decrease compared to the current budget. Even with the cuts, the proposed budget would increase property taxes by about $150 on a $150,000 home, because of a reduction in state revenues.

Councilors Tuesday approved a staffing cut of $748,085 as the biggest budget-reducing option. It will cut the property tax rate by 41 cents per $1,000 of property value. Councilors also voted to cap a property-tax rate increase to 50 cents per $1,000 of value. That would be an increase from $24.90 per $1,000 of value in the current budget to $25.40 next year.

staylor@sunjournal.com

City of Lewiston

Layoffs in 2010-11 budget

Director of Public Works Paul Boudreau

Fire Battalion Chief Bruce McKay

Union positions cut, with bumping rights

Fire inspector

Public Works fleet superintendent

Recreation coordinator

Public Services computer-aided design coordinator

Library Cultural Center coordinator

Police training coordinator

Part-time parking facility coordinator

Principal fire clerk (part time)

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