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With 100 positions unfilled, NHC manager talks of challenges ahead

READ MORE: With 100 positions unfilled, NHC manager talks of challenges ahead
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More than 100 job positions are, or will soon be, unfilled. As a result, departments are being restructured. Despite the changes, county leaders stress that public safety will not be compromised. New Hanover County Manager, Bruce Shell, has had to make some tough decisions as he and his department tackles the county's budget crunch. "It is difficult but it is the duty that we have and so we rise to the occasion to do what we need to do," he said. Forty-five positions have already been frozen for some time. Forty-two employees recently accepted an early retirement package. Tuesday, twenty-seven people were laid off. That is a total of 114 positions that will be unfilled. Steve Smith oversees the 911 center. After 32 years with the county, he chose to take an early retirement package. Smith said, "With the incentive the county provided financially, it just seemed like a good time to do it." When Smith leaves, his department will be combined with the Emergency Management Department, currently overseen by Warren Lee. After the consolidation, Lee will manage both. "The department that I've had for the past six years has four of us. We'll be adding 56 more members to our family," said Lee. The department heads said the transition should be seamless. "There won't be any negative impact to the public, as far as public safety is concerned," Lee said. Shell added, "The important thing for the public is services will not be significantly reduced, it'll be a little more challenging for the remaining employees." With 114 of their co-workers soon gone, everyone will have to pick up the slack. Other changes within the county: The Human Relations Department, which investigates unfair housing and employment discrimination claims, will close June 30th. Also, starting in July, the county library will cut its hours. New carpet for the Government Center In the midst of the layoffs and department changes, something at the Government Center is catching the attention of some employees. New carpet is being put down. County Manager, Bruce Shells, said it's needed after the Water and Sewer Department moved to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority location. "We moved walls and we moved partitions and it left holes in the carpet and so people walking through there could easily trip, so we're not replacing all the carpet, just the carpet in those areas," said Shells.

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wow

10 million for the gardens is outrageous! People are losing homes because they can't afford to pay their bills!

Two lost their jobs at garderns

Pretty sad when Arlie Gardens let go two employees during the lay offs. I used to work for a couple of men who loved to attend that yearly drunken party.

Where to Make the Real Cuts

Does anyone remember 10 years ago when NHC purchased Airlie Gardens and it was supposed to be self-sufficient in 5 years time. Well, 10 years have passed - How much are they spending on the Gardens? Of course our County Commissioners would never let it go - they love the Azalea Festival Garden Party way too much.... Yep, we spent $10.5 million so the elite could have their once a year drunkfest.

All County employees had to

All County employees had to endure a 40hr furlough....I've heard that they will have the same thing happen again next year, but with more hours off

sod at greenfeild lake

what about the 10 men laying sod at greenfeild lake today. look for yourselves, behind elder haus materials , labor and equipment wasted atleast 8 to 10 thousand dollars why was this a priority??????????????

The park at Greenfiled Lake

The park at Greenfiled Lake is a City Park - not run by NHC - I have not heard of the city having a budget crisis

city /county

waste is waste. and what makes you think the city is in any better shape than the county?

City employees didn't have

City employees didn't have to take time off work without pay....so yeah, I would say they are better off

long over due

Seems to me this downsizing and restructuring of NHC is LONG overdue. In the past decade, with the city annexing huge tracts of land and with the birth of the CFPUA, seems reasonable that the county should have to downsize their employment force. If they have less jurisdiction and less duties, why shouldn't they have realized years ago that a reduction in the work force was going to be a necessity. Seems that poor planning and lack of forsight, by the powers that be at NHC government, have cost a couple of dozen people their jobs. If only they would have taken steps in the past 5 years to reorganize and phase out obsolete positions, this could have all been avoided.

Admiting Fault

Is there anyone in government that can stand up and admit fault? We have failed to plan and counted our chickens before they hatched. We have wasted and over spent and now because we have failed to plan and be prudent with the money we have been entrusted with we are faced with lying in the bed we made.

thinning the heard

remove the sick, weak and useless. so the rest of the heard can survive

Not Useless

My name is Tracy Haislip. I am one of the infamous county employees that no longer hold a job. I find your comment despicable. I gave my all to the job that I held. I am not sick nor useless or weak. And I think I can speak for my co workers as well. How dare you infer that because we were red tape on the floor to the county managers that we didn't deserve to keep our jobs. I loved my job and served the public with dignity and respect as did my co workers who lost their jobs. What department do you work in? Or are you to weak to admit that you work for the county in some capacity? I am not ashamed to have lost my job. The county should be ashamed to have lost me. Sincerely Tracy Haislip

it was despicable

i am sorry. it was a careless sentence, i know their is a human factor. i know all are not bad employees my despicable comment was a moment of poor judgement

It's herd, not heard.

It's herd, not heard. Obvoiusly "the giant" doesn't have a giant brain.

sorry, i spelled a word incorrectly

gosh, after eye posted my comment, i thought maybee that was a little harsh. i guess i should have ben mo worried bout the spelling police, not mi heartless comment. eye'll do better next tyme sorry fo ruining yur dai

After your pathetic attempt

After your pathetic attempt to be mean and rude, most didn't really care about your sorry spelling

It Can Be Done!

Local government can stay within budget...if the taxpayers demand it. Raising taxes to continue unnecessary spending is not the answer. On the other hand, Obama's spending is an upcoming train wreck. Just when we need to curb government spending (and government control of our lives) he goes socialist wild... more government, more social engineering, and more taxes for everyone. The rich will not be able to pay for Obama's massive agendas...so the middle class will be hit hard. Watch your money go to the government.

LOL

DUDE...HE SAID CHANGE! HE MEANT IT! CHANGE will be whats left in your pocket after he redistributes what you made to the masses...after all he IS the Messiah! BOW TO YOUR NEW OVERLORD! ITS PATRIOTIC!

cuts right thru the heart

NOW I UNDERSTAND THE COUNTY HAS TO MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS,BUT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SLUGGISH RECESSION IT REALLY CUTS RIGHT THRU THE HEART. I MEAN THE ''HEART OF THE COUNTY '' WHERE DOES ONE TURN TO WHEN WE NEED HELP? THOSE DOORS ARE BEING CLOSED,HUMAN RELATIONS DEPT. THE DEPARTMENT THAT HELPS BREAK DOWN HOSTILITIES AND FEARS BETWEEN PEOPLE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN RACE.,GENDER,AGE AND OTHER DIFFERENCES.HELPING TO BUILD OUR COMMUNITY . WE SHOULD PRAY BECAUSE WE`RE GOING TO NEED IT WHEN OUR CRIME RATE EXCEEDS WHERE IT IS .MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL AFFECTED BY THIS BUDGET CRUNCH.

County Manager Bruce Shell

Maybe its about time Bruce,Bobby and Bill find different employment. Last year there was the big tax 'mistake' that cost everybody. It seems WB, CB, KB and Wilmington were able to make ends meet even with the COUNTY's major taxation mistake. Now this year it again seems that WB, CB, KB and Wilmington have again been able to make ends meet without 'lay offs' but not the County. Maybe CITY/TOWN Managers can do a better job than Mr. Shell and maybe CITY/TOWN Councils can do a much better job than County Commissioners. The POTUS talked a lot about 'change' during the election so lets make our own change locally and boot Bobby Greer, Bill Caster and Bruce Shell. Things could only get better with two additional new faces and ideas on the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Shell, two major short falls in two years, at least you are batting a 1000. Save us some money and resign (not retire, resign). Give someone else the opportunity to improve what you obviously can seem to manage.

County Spending

Someone should ask Bruce Shell a few questions. 1.Why do we provide free permits/inspections for the New Hanover Regional Medical Center? 2. Who else receives free permits/inspections? 3. Are you creating a new customer service department in the area once occupied by the CFPUA? 4. Didn't you say the carpet had holes and needed to be replaced? 5. How much money have you spent remodeling this area? Painting, electrical, drywall, carpet, creating office space, rooms, hvac? Only to move employees from the inspections department ten feet to do the same job. Meanwhile cutting 27 employees. 6. Are there any beautification projects going on or scheduled that could have been postponed in order to save jobs?

How much money has the county lost?

Didn't the hospital just complete a womans and childrens wing at the hospital? Does the county recieve free health care or even a discount from NHRMC? How much money did all those permits and inspections add up to? I know I spent a good deal of money building my house. I would guess it was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if this has been a constant understanding between the hospital and the county. Does anyone have any imput?