WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren Mayor Doug Franklin explained Friday that layoffs in the city are lagging due to procedural requirements that can’t be met during the pandemic.
Franklin said in mid-March, many employees began working from home and departments set up split shifts to minimize contact. He said those measures have been successful and no city employee has been infected with COVID-19.
While all expenditures are being monitored, employee benefits and wages make up the largest part of the general fund, Franklin said.
On April 14, voluntary layoffs were offered to the city’s union workers, but only one employee accepted, so the plan was canceled.
Franklin said under Ohio Civil Service law, layoffs can be implemented due to funding or “lack of work,” but the Civil Service Commission requires documents to prove it.
Because of the lag time in the collection of income tax, “It is impossible at this time to provide definitive data to the Civil Service Commission to justify layoffs,” Franklin said.
When those projections can be made, Franklin said his administration will “take the appropriate course of action.”
All essential services will continue in the city, Franklin said, including police patrols, garbage collection, street maintenance, water treatment and fire protection service.