Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

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Commissioners OK $1.1 billion county budget, cut 346 vacant posts

County commissioners Monday morning approved a $1.1 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that is virtually unchanged from the county’s current spending plan.

The budget takes into account a drop of some $19 million in property tax revenues, most of which is made up with increases in license/permit fees and other areas.

Commissioners also approved the permanent elimination of 346 positions that have been vacant for more than a year. That action had no effect on next year’s budget. Since 2011, more than 900 vacant county jobs have been eliminated.

The meeting went fairly quickly, but not before Commissioner Larry Brown pointed out the county was edging close to the point where it will have to cut jobs and real people to balance its budget, instead of simply cutting jobs already made vacant by attrition.

While commending county staff for union contract negotiations that have resulted in less-than-expected salary and benefit increases, Brown said the fact remained that over the past few years many union members still have received increases.

“It’s really hard to understand,” he said. “There’s a structural breakdown here.”

Brown directed county staff to start thinking more globally about salaries and benefits, instead of on a per-union basis, where each increase or decrease is judged based upon how it compares to other union contracts.

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  1. How many times will the public fall for the scam of cutting unfilled positions, and trying to present such actions as reducing the budget? Cutting filled positions represents actual savings by reducing costs, but cutting out imaginary employees is just a classic case of smoke and mirrors.

  2. ???????????????

    Commissioners OK $1.1 billion county budget, cut 346 vacant posts
    By Joe Schoenmann (contact)

    Monday, May 21, 2012 | 12:40 p.m.

    "County commissioners Tuesday morning approved a $1.1 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that is virtually unchanged from the county's current spending plan.

    The budget takes into account a drop of some $19 million in property tax revenues, most of which is made up with increases in license/permit fees and other areas."

    How can this be approved when the commission meeting is TOMORROW - Tuesday?

  3. Comment removed by moderator. Duplicate

  4. Thanks for pointing out the mistake. The meeting took place Monday morning.

  5. "Brown directed staff" is a little bit too little. We MUST cut compensation down to REASONABLE levels. Local government employees are sooooo over-paid AND we now have a new normal. Our economy will recover sooner if we do the appropriate things. County employees have had 4-5-6 years to pay off bills and cut spending. It's past time to CUT COMPENSATION. We should be getting all the government that we're paying for RATHER THAN paying out everything they can collect for less governmental SERVICES. We can only hope that the Legislature has tuned in enough to FIX PERS RETIREMENT so that CURRENT EMPLOYEES pay in out of their gross salaries and that benefits take into account longer lifespans and actuarial costs. Why are government retirees getting 2-5 times what SS pays the rest of us? 5 year vesting is fine so we don't discourage employees from making career moves and they can "stack" SS, PERS, and whatever else they do. I'm sickened by the feigned lack of comprehension of "K-12 teachers" and other local government employees who don't "realize" their retirements are 30% or more of their compensation. Most people realize that SS takes a serious percentage out of your pay, that retirement benefits are not a gift from "heaven". State employees pay PERS out of gross but County employees (and teachers) act like their stated salary is all they get.

  6. Where are the negative COLA's?

  7. And they're proud of their accomplishment, what a joke.

    Do the math people, $1.1 billion budget and with a population of the country being around 2.8 million, the math tells me, not enough income to pay for their bloated bureaucracy.