County enacts hiring freeze
Hamilton County Commissioners are making official their informal hiring freeze. And they're urging other departments to follow suit.
According to a county memo circulated Monday:
"The county's financial position has worsened due to a decline in projected revenue of $7-8 million compared to budget. In addition, according to the March 2008 general fund budget projections, several departments are projected to exceed their 2008 budget."
Therefore the administration recommended a hiring freeze. An informal freeze has been in place for two years, saving the county $2.5 million, said Administrator Patrick Thompson.
However, the freeze will affect only 300 of the more than 3,000 positions paid for by the county's general fund. The commissioners don't have control over the payrolls of other elected officials' departments. Although commissioners are asking those departments to freeze new hires too, they can't make them do so.
Thompson hopes, though, that they will follow suit.
"What the commission is trying to emphasize is the serious nature of our financial condition," he said. "It also sends a message to the individual elected officials that we’re asking for their support."