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Mid-year Budget Request Calls for Hiring Freeze – December 23, 2008

To: Mayor Chris Beutler
Lincoln City Council Members
Lancaster County Commissioners
LES Administrative Board
Lincoln Board of Education
From: LIBA Board of Directors
Date: December 23, 2008
Re: Mid-year Budget

Thank you for doing all that you can to hold the line on taxes.

We would like to propose, well before your budget discussions, that each of you—Mayor Beutler, City Council Members, County Commissioners, LES Administrative Board, and Lincoln Board of Education—implement a hiring freeze, effective immediately.

Our public employees are valuable members of the community. To protect them, and prevent possible future layoffs or job elimination in an uncertain economy, we encourage the proactive consideration of a hiring freeze. Mayor Beutler had successfully used a hiring freeze the past two years to help control the city budget.

The current economic climate suggests that taking care of our current employees, while serving tax-paying constituents by minimizing labor costs, would be sound policy. We do recognize how-ever, that if an extenuating circumstance arose where you must fill a key position, such an excep-tion would be understandable.

We hope all public managing bodies will choose to implement a hiring freeze. We also hope that such a freeze, if affected, would not signal a growth in consulting costs. This is a time for austerity. Relying on our ample expertise found within our current public staff seems a sound approach.

Thank you for your consideration. As always, we appreciate your efforts toward finding government efficiencies.