Council committee votes to rescind 2008 hiring freeze

The City Council’s Ways & Means/Budget Committee voted Tuesday to lift a hiring freeze on city employees. 

The hiring freeze was approved by the City Council on Dec. 12, 2008 in the midst of the recession. 

A staff report presented to the committee indicated that the hiring freeze is no longer needed for a number of reasons. Department managers are managing their budgets and only filling job “they absolutely need,” hiring freeze waiver requests require a lot of administrative paperwork and of the 338 waiver requests made since December 2008, only six have been denied or postponed.

The hiring freeze came as city leaders were preparing to revise the 2009 budget to deal with a $13.1 million cut in Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state. Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 153 city positions have been eliminated. 

The proposal now goes before the full Council on Friday, Dec. 6.