ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Thirteen people would be laid off, 20 vacant positions would be cut and employees would be furloughed under the budget proposed by Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides.
Pantelides, a Republican who defeated incumbent Josh Cohen by 59 votes in November, presented his FY 2015 budget during his State of the City address last night. The proposed budget includes a $96.6 million operating budget and a $15.8 million capital budget and no new taxes.
The mayor said the operating budget will continue to fund the city’s union agreements, which address long-term, unfunded liabilities and ensure the integrity of the city’s public safety retirement plan and previously unfunded health care. In addition, leaving the positions vacant would save Annapolis more than $800,000.
"And what I had to do is to make up $8 million," Pantelides said. "So I have to lay people off, eliminate vacant positions and implement furloughs...We went through two rounds of tax increases, our water bills have doubled and I'm not a proponent of raising taxes."
Among the items in Pantelides’ proposal are:
- Dedicating matching funds of $250,000 for the police department firing range; optimistic that the City will receive a state bond bill grant of $250,000 to fully fund the project.
- A $4 million commitment to rebuild the condemned maintenance facility on Spa Road
- A $2 million commitment to annual roadway paving program and $600,000 to sidewalk repair.
- Replacement of the old water and sewer pipes by investing $1.9 million in the water distribution system and an addition $2.4 million for our sewer collection system.
Dallas Lister is a union rep for city firefighters. Lister says the police and firefighters signed a contract a week before the election that had a 10 percent raise over three years.
With the loss of six open firefighter positions and furloughs a possibility, Lister says this new budget is the opposite of what they agreed on. Lister says if the mayor was going to change the contract he should have reached out to the workers.
"We haven't had any communication with him. the only time we could speak to him was open door sessions. He doesn't return phone calls or e-mails," Lister said.
No decisions will be made until the city has two pubic meetings. The city council will vote on the budget in June.