Hamilton City Council eliminated 23 positions as they grapple with a budget crunch as the City’s reserves near zero, assessment growth is not paying the full cost of expanding services, and the City’s debt is forecast to surpass $1-billion dollars.
The cuts take effect immediately earlier this week. The City’s General Manager of Finance says the City will save $3.3-million annual in salary and benefits by cutting the positions. It will cost $1.4-million in severances. (Despite cutting the positions in the last full week of February, the City is creatively charging the 2017 salaries and severances to any 2016 surplus variances to claim full savings in 2017)
The City says this will decrease this year’s tax increase by an average of $14 per household.
The position cuts are:
- Director – Energy and Fleet
- Director – Strategic Planning Services
- Director – Talent Management
- Director – Healthy Living
- Director – Divisional Director in Recreation
- Director – Municipal Law Enforcement
- Director – Open for Business Initiatives
- Director – Clinic Services
- Director – Corporate Initiatives
- Director – Divisional Director in Ontario Works
- Senior Project Manager – Emergency and Community Services
- Communications Officer (manager level) – Emergency and Community Services
- Manager – Sexual Health
- Manager – Injury Prevention
- Manager – Government Relations Program
- Manager – Special Projects
City Manager Chris Murray says the City is reviewing more cuts during the year, including the possibility of 45 cuts in the social assistance office.
Here’s video of Chris Murray taking questions on Wednesday and Thursday.