Ketchikan borough lays off two directors

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan Gateway Borough laid off two department directors last week in a budget-cutting move.

Parks and recreation director John Brown and planning director Susan Dickinson received 30 days' pay with their notices, said borough manager Roy Eckert. They were to vacate their offices by Friday.

Eckert said the dismissals are the first of up to eight positions the borough will cut to save $350,000 to $500,000 next year.

''This is extremely painful,'' Eckert said. ''It's not something we're taking lightly.''

Eckert said the two positions were cut in hopes of running the departments more efficiently with supervisors. He said there likely will have to be more hands-on supervision and tighter management control from his office.

Al Hall, borough finance director, said eliminating the two positions will save $171,388 annually in salary and benefits. Hall said the borough will use the vacated office space for employees in public works and the Ketchikan Economic Development Authority, saving rent payments of about $1,600 per month.

Eckert said laying off employees is difficult.

''We don't want to balance the budget on the backs of the employees,'' he said. ''But, we have to look at the bottom line. It's a bad situation.''

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