- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - McComb Mayor Whitney Rawlings is backing away from discussion of a city-wide hiring freeze, saying he doesn’t have the support of the city board.

Rawlings told The Enterprise-Journal (https://bit.ly/1tXJrSq) he is unlikely to revive the proposal.

“I don’t think I have the votes,” he said. “It was a way to alleviate a problem the city is facing - not having money for projects that may be necessary.”

Officials discussed the proposed hiring freeze the past week, but some selectmen raised concerns.

Rawlings first suggested a freeze for all city departments earlier this month.

With little in the budget for infrastructure, the mayor’s said a freeze was a way to find money for street maintenance without cutting personnel.

“We need to save money. This is the way to do it,” Rawlings said.

The mayor said the city should lose 12 to 15 employees through attrition and a freeze could save as much as $500,000.

He did not give a specific time frame for the freeze, but calculated the savings at Tuesday’s meeting based on a yearlong duration.

A few selectmen were supportive of the decision but expressed caution.

Selectman Tommy McKenzie cited concerns over the possibility of increased overtime expenses, just as the city experienced in the past when McComb was short of personnel in the fire department.

“Will overtime increase, and would that offset savings from the freeze?” McKenzie asked. “Can you do more with less? Can one person do the job of two and that one person get paid more?”

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, https://www.enterprise-journal.com


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