Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 | 9:05 p.m.
With another deficit looming in next year’s budget, Henderson officials continue to try to shrink the government to cut down on costs.
On Tuesday, the city council approved the reorganization and consolidation of several departments, which are expected to save $750,000 annually.
As part of the changes, the city’s Community Development Department was combined with the Code Enforcement division of the City Manager’s Office and the Building and Fire Safety division of the Public Works Department to form a new Community Development and Services Department.
Overall, the city cut six positions. Fred Horvath, director of human resources, said layoffs may be necessary, but affected employees will have the opportunity to participate in the Voluntary Employee Severance Program or apply for other open positions with the city.
“We’ve been very successful in (avoiding layoffs) for the last 3 1/2 years,” he said. “We’re going to take another shot at it. We’re cautiously optimistic we’ll get through this one again.”
In an August interview with the Sun, City Manager Jacob Snow said he hoped to save about $2 million annually through the reorganization process. Henderson currently faces a projected budget deficit of $6.5 million for its next fiscal year.
Earlier this year, the city consolidated several other departments, including Intergovernmental Relations, Cultural Arts and Tourism and Economic Development, into a single department.
The reorganization process is still under way, and Horvath said he plans to present more changes to the council in about a month.