During the meeting this morning, when it came to talking about the budget, the issue of unfilled positions came up. There are several unfilled positions, or billets, that have not been filled for quite some time. The council was going to eliminate the salaries of those positions all together, but they have decided to move two of them over to Public Works Director Hugh Smith. City Council President Fannie Johnson says the process of going through unfilled billets and decided what need to be eliminated and what money needs to be move to legislation is simply a way to have a better idea of what is being done with the city's money.
“At the end of the day, everyone says the council handles the budget, the council handles the money. We handle the amount of money in the sense that they get but not exactly what they do with it. We are not the day-to-day operations. So, we have to listen to what they say they need to do with the money and give them a little leeway because we need the Public Works to be able to care of the community.” -Johnson
Johnson says Public Works Director Hugh Smith plans on filling one of the vacant positions within the next few weeks and the other within a month or so.