Cohen Freezes

| December 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

Mayor Implements Hiring Freezehiringfreeze

Realizing what the former Mayor wanted to hide, Mayor Cohen has issued a hiring freeze to deal with fiscal mess he inherited last week.

The freeze is effective immediately. The Police and Fire Departments will still be able to hire, but only with approval from the Mayor and the Chief Administrative Officer, Doug Smith.  Exceptions can also be made, but will require approval from the CAO, the Director of Finance and the Director of Human Resources.

“This is just one step in an ongoing process to ensure better management of city finances,” Mayor Cohen said. “We are putting in place a rigorous review of staffing at all levels, and the hiring freeze is necessary while we review our personnel situation.”

According to Tim Elliott, Director of Finance, the freeze will save the City between $250,000 and $300,000 this fiscal year.

The full content of the Mayor’s press release is after the jump.

Mayor Orders Immediate Hiring Freeze

Annapolis, MD (12-15-09) – Mayor Joshua J. Cohen has ordered a hiring freeze of the city government workforce effective immediately, with the exception of police and fire personnel, marking another step by his administration to curb spending amid a looming budget deficit.

With the city facing a budget shortfall for the current fiscal year, Mayor Cohen believes it necessary to begin immediately to reduce spending to offset revenue declines. Finance Director Tim Elliott estimates that the hiring freeze will save between $250,000 to $300,000 for the current fiscal year alone.

“This is just one step in an ongoing process to ensure better management of city finances,” Mayor Cohen said. “We are putting in place a rigorous review of staffing at all levels, and the hiring freeze is necessary while we review our personnel situation.”

The Police and Fire departments must obtain approval from Mr. Cohen and Chief Administrative Officer Doug Smith before hiring. Also, an exception process will be established for critical positions in other departments to preserve essential city services.

Mr. Smith formally notified department heads today of the hiring freeze and the requirement that any exception must be approved by the CAO, Mr. Elliott and Human Resources Director Kimla T. Milburn before a hire can be made.

Last week, the mayor assembled an executive-level task force to devise a management strategy for reining in overtime spending within the current fiscal year. The mayor expects a report from the four-member group – Mr. Smith, Mr. Elliott, Ms. Milburn and City Attorney Karen Hardwick – no later than the end of this month.

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John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.