MILLINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - Millington is facing nearly a $400,000 deficit. The city manager, Thomas Christie, wants to lay off two dozen employees, which includes firefighters and police officers. The public is outraged. Tuesday night the aldermen met to hash out alternatives to close the budget gap.
No decisions of layoffs were made; it was just a working session. The aldermen and mayor do not want to lay off any city employees to close the budget gap, but Christie says that's the best thing to do. He says laying off 19 city employees will help offset the $379,000 budget deficit. That didn't sit well with residents.
"I'm outraged that someone says we need to get rid of 6 police men and 6 firemen, public utilities in this city,” said resident Reggie Wilson.
“I don't see putting public safety at risk to balance the budget. I don't foresee police and firefighters leaving,” said Mayor Terry Jones.
That's why the Mayor called Tuesday night's work session. They discussed taking away pay raises from last year and possibly raising property taxes to close the budget gap, but the possibility of laying off fire and police is still out there. Dozens of them showed up wondering what's going to happen next. Some residents yelled out they wanted the city manager to get fired. Christie says the city the budget deficit has been growing for the past six years and he's just the messenger.
“I've only been here 3 months,” said Christie. “I didn't create this budget situation so if it’s the desire to shoot the messenger then shoot away."
The aldermen will have a board meeting on April 8th and that's where they will decide if there will be any layoffs, or if other alternatives will be taken to close the city’s budget gap.