Finance Friday – Eliminating Positions (Filled and Vacant)

Published on August 25, 2023

125.5 positions cut from FY2024 budget

When the Gainesville City Commission decided early in the budget season to cut the Government Services Contribution from Gainesville Regional Utilities by more than half, it created a General Fund budget shortfall of approximately $19 million. In response, City leaders began working to rightsize their departments. This meant consolidating programs and services, streamlining City offerings, and reducing expenses to save money. Jobs are part of the equation. If the budget proposal passes, it would eliminate 125.5 full-time positions with the City of Gainesville.

At Monday’s budget workshop, City Manager Cynthia W. Curry reported to the City Commission that all 125.5 positions are funded, existing, and very “real.” Removing them would reduce the City’s General Government workforce of approximately 1,492 employees by roughly eight percent. 

The total value of all eliminated positions is $8.3 million, important savings in this challenging budget year.

Of those 125.5 positions, 70.7 fall under the General Fund and would be eliminated as part of the City’s effort to balance the budget. There are 24 people impacted, whose positions with the City are expected to end. Another 12 General Fund positions were lost when new State of Florida legislation made it necessary to close Gainesville’s rental unit inspection program.

 Department  Positions
General Fund - Filled 24
General Fund - Vacant 58.7
Rental Inspection Program 12
 Regional Transit System  40
 Other City Departments 2.8
Total value of $8.3 million  125.5

Another 40 positions slated for elimination are with the Regional Transit System (RTS). These roles are no longer needed due to a dip in ridership that has not bounced back since the pandemic. There are 2.8 additional positions in other City departments that also would end under the new budget proposal.

The remaining 58.7 positions are vacant.

These vacant positions exist in large part due to a strategic hiring freeze initiated by City Manager Curry in early March, when the City Commission first vowed to make bold moves to reduce debt. Over the past six months, many existing vacancies have stayed unfilled and new ones have stacked up. In this way, the City has saved money on recruitment, candidate-screening costs, salaries and benefits. These intentional vacancies also made it possible to propose cutting a larger number of positions without hurting real people and their families.

But some people are impacted. To help find them a place to land, the City’s Human Resources team is managing a Pipeline Committee. Its mission is to match staffers in eliminated roles with essential jobs slated to continue through the next fiscal year. Here is a bright spot. All but one of the displaced rental inspectors has found a new role with the City, and the Pipeline Committee reports a 75 percent success rate assisting the other staffers who may lose their positions. The work continues.

Find more information about the City of Gainesville budget process and timeline.


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