make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

New Hanover County to announce layoffs Tuesday

READ MORE: New Hanover County to announce layoffs Tuesday
The axe will fall Tuesday for more than two dozen New Hanover County employees. The layoffs are part of the county's effort to make up the 2008-2009 budget deficit. County Manager Bruce Shell said layoffs were the last resort, but Tuesday the county will layoff twenty-seven employees to make up the remaining portion of a $12 million budget deficit. “When you're the leader, you just have to make the tough decisions and look somebody in the eye,” said New Hanover County Commissioner Jason Thompson. Tuesday New Hanover county department heads will do just that. Twenty-seven county employees whose salaries total more than $1.5 million will be laid off to make up the remaining budget deficit. “These are very very draconian steps that we're having to take and the commissioners needed to be aware of it before I rolled it out,” said Shell. The county has already frozen forty-five positions, cut travel expenses and won't replace forty-two employees who opted for early retirement. That still wasn't enough to make up the entire budget deficit. For county employees it could be a long night. They won't be notified exactly who will be laid off until Tuesday. Shell declined to comment on details, but said the county will respond to the tough times ahead. “It'll be a tough struggle, but we've got a tremendous organization with a lot of professionals and they'll step up and rise to the occasion.” The 114 vacant positions that won't be filled account for about ten percent of the county's normal work force of over one thousand employees. Commissioner Jason Thompson said he's seen the layoffs coming for some time. “That's the way of the world today, it's not just governments every private business is having to cut back and lay off and reorganize, and I expected the county would have to do the same thing.” Shell will meet with the department heads Tuesday morning to discuss how the county will proceed. Affected employees will receive six weeks of severance pay.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Losing a good job...

Losing a good job, and yes a governmemt job is a good job, can be hard. Not living in Afghanistan hard, but changing lifestyles hard. One should remember the taxpayers that pay the salaries, also do not want to change/downgrade their lifestyles.

What I think is really sad

What I think is really sad is that they are waiting until the very last minute to tell those that are being layed off. Sure they are getting 6 weeks worth of pay, but sometimes it takes longer than that to find another job. If they knew about the layoffs like Thompson said, they should have made arraingments so those that will be layed off will have a chance to find new work


FYI...employees who are laid off can also apply for unemployment, which can give them an extra 4 or more months of income, although it's no where near what they were earning. But at that point, anything is a blessing.

How much unemployment will

How much unemployment will someone get that only held a job for a month or two?

um, friend, the bitter one

I think when that person said they should cut the pay of all county employees, it wasn't like you and your spouse were gonna go from say 60,000 a year to 15,000 a year, sheezo, calm down. But yes, maybe from 60,000 a year to say 57,000 a year.It makes perfect sense. How about if you are the one laid off? Now you went from 60,000 a year to zero. Can you make it on that? You would then be begging for your job back with even bigger of a pay cut.But now you think it's a good idea to lay people off, as long as it's not you, right? How selfish and greedy can a person be? We don't need people like you working here anyway. Go to another city. I hope no employees get laid off. I personally would rather take a slight pay cut than be cut down to zero. And still have all my co-workers working too.

budget cuts

well, let's see, the county gets money from property taxes. our property taxes have gone up tremendously. The county will get more money now than ever!!! we have to pay that money, regardless of how bad the economy is.So what's up with not having enough money? It's not like sales are down or anything like that.

Cutting people.....

Why not do an overall salary reduction for *everyone* that works in County government rather that cutting people and services. Saving jobs and maintaining services should be the highest priority. I know..... reducing work-force is always the easiest way to save a buck.

New Hanover County Employee Layoffs

Concerning the announcement today of layoffs. Apparently the New Hanover Department heads make the final decisions on which employees lose their jobs. What are these decisions based on? Seniority, job performance or just chosen at random? Could these be unfair decisions and possibly be disputed and even end up in the court system? This process needs to be fair and effective.

That's a very good idea, one

That's a very good idea, one that big business should try instead of government bailouts too.

Because that is stupid

Are you serious?? An overall salary reduction for EVERYONE that is a county employee? How is THAT not cutting services? My spouse and I BOTH serve this county as employees. Despite the falsehood YOU obviously believe, we are NOT making outrageous salaries. Between the two of us, our combined salaries mean our family earns $70,000 a year. That's it...for 4 people (us and 2 children), $70,000. We honestly can't make it on less than that at this point. Therefore, a cut in salary would mean that one of us (if not both) would need to seek other employment. There are positions in county departments that could be eliminated during these difficult economic times. It would not be easy to do, but it could be done. It would be the hope of all involved that as conditions improve, perhaps furloughed employees could be brought back, but by working existing employees even harder, the job would still get done, albeit with some people receiving overtime pay in some instances. It's sad, but at least in my opinion, cutting out some salaries entirely really would save more money than cutting pay for everyone. I think your remark to just cut EVERYONE'S pay just because they work for the county is mean-spirited and vicious, and it's not one that makes any sense in my opinion. Like I said...county workers, and state employees, for that matter, do NOT make the outrageous salaries that people seem to think we do. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. As government employees, our salaries are NOT confidential. Anyone - ANY citizen - can find out exactly how much we earn because it's required that it be public record. On a personal level, I will tell you that I earn $45,000 while my spouse earns $25,000. We pay over $1200 each month in child support from a previous marriage. As a result of that and the usual withdrawals for taxes and retirement, we are left with $2000 each month. With that $2000 we must pay rent, vehicle payment, insurance, utilities and grocery bills for FOUR PEOPLE. We do not own a home, and we are not being overly aggressive with our retirement planning. Your comment also implies that county leaders and department heads are stupid...I VEHEMENTLY disagree with that insinuation. Our leaders did NOT automatically go to reduction in force as first choice. Quite the opposite, actually.... Through other measures like early retirement and furlough, they sought to AVOID mass reduction in force. Those in charge have done everything they can, in our (me and my spouse) opinions, to save jobs. Early retirement and furlough were offered FIRST instead of cutting jobs. The bottom line is that the county WILL NOT sacrifice essential services to a troubled economy. The essentials WILL get done, regardless. Those that are nice but not absolutely essential will be scaled back. What this means for the average citizen is as follows: NO, you will NOT lose Law, EMS, and Fire protection. Your 911 phone calls will NOT go unanswered. You MAY have to go get certain permits on certain days of the week instead of the usual Monday through Friday. You MAY have to leave a voice mail with a question about your water bill. Essential services WILL NOT be affected. We, your county public servants, have responsibilities, just the same as ANY employee.

You gross 5833 per month and

You gross 5833 per month and are left with only 2000 take home? that doesn't sound right, even with your 1200 child support payment.

My husband makes about

My husband makes about $25,000 a year at a local grocery store deli. We have three children, all teens and the youngest is a nonverbal severe autistic. I can't work because I have to care for him and because of all of the cut backs in services we currently have no outside help for him. (We have allotted hours, but no one will do the hours because they are too few. They say he is too much to handle. :( ) Yet, we own our own home and make do with what we have, including going to thrift stores and watching for sales. We have almost no debt at all (just some medical bills)and do NOT use credit cards. We drive a 1996 mini-van and get all major repairs done once a year to keep it going. And my oldest is going to college. We make very little, but somehow, we manage to survive. $70,000 a year? That is quite high to me... Why in the world don't you own a home? Just remember that you are telling those people who would be laid off that their families come after yours. By sacrificing a little of your own, you might help another employee keep their home or have enough to raise their own family of four or more.


Let's just hope that all of these unfortunate folks are not in the same boat as you. What if you are one of those picked................would you feel differant then? This is a terrible situation. May God have mercy on all those involved.

Dear because that is stupid

Did, U mention all the benifits, sick pay, insurance, vacation retirement, etc, your response was so long I got bored before I finished reading, By the way did u do this on a County Computer.

That's funny!

I also got bored of reading the above comment! Unfortunately, I am also a county employee and my head is resting on that good ol chopping block. I am doing this on a county computer, mainly because the news stream is updating us better than HR/or supervisors/the county manager at this point. We really don't know what's going to happen and no one really feels like telling us. I have never been treated this way even when I waited tables. I have been stuck in a holding pattern for the past two weeks. ENOUGH ALREADY!


if you are a county employee and your head is on the chopping block, don't you think that you should get off the wway web site and go back to work? make yourself valuable so your not the first one that your department head says , we'll get rid of him/her they spend most of the day on the computer and not doing their job anyway. good luck on the job hunt