Perry Co. leaders fear layoffs, four-day work week - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Perry Co. leaders fear layoffs, four-day work week

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PERRY CO. -- Perry County employees could soon see layoffs or four-day work weeks. Treasurer Mary Jane Craft says at least $600,000 needs to be cut from the budget. 

Craft says funding issues started a few years ago with cuts from the state, and they haven't been able to recover. She adds that the half-cent sales tax being turned down by voters on Tuesday has only made the situation worse.

Sheriff Steve Bareis is also worried about the impact following the public safety referendum being rejected. He told News 3 Wednesday, "There's talk of going to a four-day work week with clerical staff, there's talk of potential salary reductions in my office and therefore and layoffs."

Bareis said his biggest fear is potential lay-offs will cut deputy patrols and delay response times to emergency calls. 

He claims there was misinformation about the referendum, and some voters thought it was only for jail repairs. Bareis explains it was actually to help fund personnel, services and the facility. 

Craft says there was also misunderstandings about the sales tax being 50 cents on the dollar, instead of the actual half-cent proposal. 

Du Quoin business owners said the tax would hurt sales and make it hard for them to compete with surrounding communities

On Friday, April 5, department heads will meet with the county board to discuss what they can do to cut expenses.

However, Craft sees no best-case scenario, "I don't think any of them are good because there is a lot of people's livelihoods here, and I don't want any of them to get laid off because they might have a house payment or whatever." 

Cart says ultimately it will be up to the county board to make any decisions, but she says, something must be done right away.

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