More with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray: On layoffs, efficiencies and CentrePointe

04/05/2011 10:21 AM

Lexington city employees could be facing layoffs in the next two years due to a budget shortfall, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said.

Gray said most the of fat in Lexington’s budget already is gone, forcing him to look at personnel costs to make up the difference.

“First thing we do is to look at efficiencies which will avoid layoffs. That’s been down now for three years,” Gray said, during an interview with Pure Politics’ senior producer, Lanny Brannock last week. The interview aired in Monday’s edition of Pure Politics.

Lexington laid off three workers last week. Gray said he will continue to look at other cuts to make up the budget shortfall, but operational costs have been shaved to a minimum already. Much of the costs of government are in paying employees.

“Regrettably, we have to look at personnel costs,” Gray said. “Layoffs are absolutely the last thing you want consider, but in times like this, even the government has to look at ways to reduce costs, and we have to examine all of those areas.”

The recession that hit the private sector two years ago are hitting cities now, Gray said. With property values lower and revenues flattening cities like Lexington are feeling the financial pinch.

“You’ve really got to live within your means,” Gray said.

After one full quarter in office, Gray said he will be turning his focus to economic development and increasing efficiencies in city government.

“Focus on running government efficiently, living within our means. This is the way that we can create a great city,” he said. “The toughest thing you’ve ever got to do is dealing with employees and dealing with employee layoffs. That’s the toughest thing any manager, any executive has got to do.”

- Lanny Brannock


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