HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The City of Houston is facing job reductions as Mayor Sylvester Turner works to balance the budget for 2017.
"I can't promise everybody will still hold on to their positions in the new budget cycle," says Mayor Turner. He also says that layoffs are likely coming for city employees and could happen before June when the city's new fiscal year begins. However, Mayor Turner adds that he will not reduce staff at the Houston Police Department.
“Very reluctant to lay off any firefighters, certainly not going to lay off any police officers but every other phase of operation where dollars are being spent all of those areas are off the table,” says Mayor Turner.
The mayor is also asking that department heads and city leaders to do what they can to cut back.
“I'm asking the members of city council to consider reducing their district service fund, from the million dollars they get per district, down to $250,000,” explains Mayor Turner.
As for the mayor's promises to have pothole repaired within 24 hours of a problem being reported,
"I was totally blown away," says Houston resident Meisha Gainer. "I thought there's no way. The City of Houston is so big there's no way they can get to my little pothole in my neck of the woods,” smiles Houstonian Meisha Gainer but she called 311 and gave it a shot. Within twelve to fourteen hours, the City was out fixing it,” explains. Gainer.
Mayor Turner says the pothole repairs fit into the current budget by not filling open positions.
“By not filling vacant positions we'll save about $5 million in the 2016 budget” says Mayor Turner.
Almost 10,000 potholes have been repaired since Jan. 4, 2016 since the mayor launched his pothole repair initiative. He says he plans to focus now on larger street repairs, which the mayor promises will be complete, not in 24 hours but within 30 days.
However, Mayor Turner says some things that are in the budget now may not be in 2017.