The Budget Committee spent three hours Wednesday evening dissecting the city of Zanesville's proposed budget for 2011.
Created by Budget and Finance Director Dale Raines, the committee members reviewed line by line the proposal to figure out how the city can resolve its $500,000 deficit. Department heads were under scrutiny having to explain why they have chosen to use money a certain way.
"The budget is councils ordinance, if they are going to pass an ordinance, than they have every right to question every department head on his or her budget," said Mayor Butch Zwelling.
Cost cutting ideas included potentially implementing furlough days for all city emploees and cutting longetivity pay. While many had mixed opinions on the options, most agreed that the service in each department will be affected no matter the outcome.
"We have already cut everybody's budget rather severely, we've cut overtime by 50% in every department, not every department but maybe one or two has been able to live in those means," said the mayor.
He said the unaffiliated workers have been consulted and are leaning towards furlough days. The administration is planning to meet with the fire, police and AFSCME unions this week in hopes of reaching a compromise.
A temporary decision must be made by December 27th at the City Council Meeting.