Richmond budget issues could lead to layoffs

City workers facing possible layoffs

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Some city workers’ jobs are could be on the line the if Richmond City Council doesn’t pass an ordinance to move money among departments.

In a letter to the city council, the budget director notified members that some offices were operating over budget, leaving a small window to make a decision.

According to that letter, deficits in some departments range from about $18,000 or more. Topping that list is the sheriff’s office, which is expecting a $2.1 million shortfall.

Councilwoman Kim Gray said Mayor Levar Stoney’s office wasn’t transparent enough when constructing the budget for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.

“I’ve never seen it this far off," Gray said. "We are being backed into a corner.”

Gray said these sorts of numbers should’ve been brought to the city council’s attention much earlier. The decision to pass the ordinance must be made by June 1.

“To say trash might not be picked up and people will be furloughed and layoffs may have to take place, it puts us in a really bad predicament,” Gray said.

A spokesperson from the mayor’s office said they’ve sent notice to the city council, in writing, of the updated departmental needs at least three times since last November and said the give-and-take phase of budget building is typical this time of the fiscal year.

The city council is scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss, and potentially pass, the ordinance.

“We don’t want to hurt employees, and we don’t want to hurt city services. But we do want to get the answers that are required to make good, sound financial decisions for our city.”

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