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Parish President Lifts Workforce Reduction to Resume Standard Operations
“I am pleased to announce that on August 13th, 2018, my Administration will be lifting the workforce hours reduction to resume standard operations throughout Lafourche Parish,” said Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle.
The workers’ hours were initially reduced to thirty-five (35) hours from forty (40) hours per week because the Council elected to amend out of the 2018 budget, with 226 budget amendments, items such as paying for contracts, servicing vehicles and equipment, paying for drug screens, supplies, travel and other daily working needs. To explain further, the Council did this for the explicit written reason of putting these funds toward the solid waste shortfall. “By taking this action, my Administration had no choice but to fund the unfunded operational items in another fashion with layoffs or the reduction in hours. Both options were difficult and the latter was the chosen route,” said President Cantrelle.
As noted in the announcement which initiated the workforce hours reduction, savings from the temporary reduction in combination with voter passage of the solid waste service tax this fall, would enable solid waste services to be fully funded, and the Council would not have any need to supplement the solid waste fund by defunding operational needs with clear consequence.
The 2019 budget process will proceed as it did last year by accounting for the projected $2.5 million shortfall in Solid Waste, as the Administration cannot budget unexpected revenues. In addition, there are some legal obligations that require dedicated funding which will increase spending, despite lower revenues in funds such as Royalty. The 2019 budget process will again be difficult, but the Administration will present an exact balanced budget. Only the Council can amend afterwards.
President Cantrelle and his leadership team are hopeful that this good faith move forward is the right decision as positive dialogue continues. “We are encouraged that the fiscal shortfall will be addressed by voters with the passage of the solid waste service tax,” expressed President Cantrelle. “We are committed to the Lafourche Parish Government employees and the taxpayers to make sure revenues and expenses are accounted for so that we can operate with maximum efficiency,” said President Cantrelle.