Layoff Audit Fuels Calls for Dallas Tax Hikes

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010  |  Updated 8:48 PM CDT
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We Built This City. Who's Running It?

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Some say a layoff report shows City Hall doesn't have enough employees.

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We Built This City. Who's Running It?

A Dallas audit states the city made big mistakes handling the lay off of hundreds of employees. The mistakes may have compromised security and taxpayer money. Some city leaders said it shows there aren't enough workers left to do the work the city needs.
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Laid-off Dallas city employees retained keys, computer access and city purchasing power long after they were terminated because no one followed up, according to a report from the city auditor.

The report found that five city departments handled layoff procedures on their own instead of leaving it to human resources, but did not follow accepted practices.

Councilman Tennell Atkins said it shows the city has laid off too many people after several years of budget cuts and that the city does not have enough employees to to the work.

“So what the audit tells us, right now, we really don’t have enough personnel to run the city like a business,” he said.

Akins has been calling for a tax increase this year to avoid more staff reductions.

Mayor Tom Leppert said the audit only shows that the city needs to do a better job of following procedure and not let terminated employees leave with keys.

The mayor opposes a tax increase, saying the city still has the resources to provide services.

“This budget is still going to be well over a billion dollars," Leppert said. "We’re still going to have over 10,000 employees. We’ve got a lot of people. There’s a lot of dollars."

About 400 city employees were terminated last year. Another 358 were laid off but rehired in other positions.

Dallas is projected to have a budget shortfall in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The latest estimate puts the shortfall at $39 million.

Get More: Audit of Reduction in Force Employee Processing Controls


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