Dallas Job Cuts Prompt Protests

Unhappy times at city hall

When the man gives you lemons, what do you do? Protest the lemons, apparently.

As city hall Manager Mary Suhm proposes laying off 785 city employees in the face of a $190 million budget deficit, about half a dozen of them came out to city hall Wednesday in defiance before the morning council meeting and again at noon.

The cuts amount to almost 20 percent of the city hall workforce.

Many of them took issue with the layoffs during the city council meeting on Wednesday as well. Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway handled all of their questions, some of which involved asking for other higher-up employees to take pay cuts.

The remainder of Suhm’s proposal includes: not filling 380 vacant positions, an increase in some city fees and many service reductions (such as a cutting of library hours). The cuts would shrink the budget deficit from $190 million to $38 million.

Most of the financial problems the city is facing stem from a drop in tax revenue from a battered economy.

The layoffs would not take place until the new budget went into effect in September, if passed.

Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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