Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Parish applies hiring freeze

Webster Parish Police Jury employees and parish road crew employees are being affected by a hiring freeze.

No new employees will be hired, and employees who leave will not be replaced except in case of emergency. Essential skilled full time staff such as multi-equipment operators would be replaced.

Police jury President Charles Walker said the sales tax revenues from 2010 and 2011 are down more than $100,000 from 2009, and the money for the employees comes from the sales tax fund.

"It being the end of the year with most of our projects completed – if you're going to have any cutback, this is the best time to do it," said Walker.

According to Walker, the salaries and benefits of new employees are expensive.

"What would be bad, is to hire somebody then have to turn around a month later and terminate them," he said. "We don't want to do that; that's not fair."

The jury is concerned that taxpayer money be spent wisely, according to Walker.

"We have to pay as we go," he said. "We can't spend more than we take in. The taxpayers elected us 12 jurors to represent them. Our job, my job as president, is to make sure we do the right thing for the taxpayers and their money."

Walker said the freeze could last until the end of the first quarter of 2012.

"Come January we'll look at it and we'll see," Walker said. "This is not the first time we've done this ... and I hope it will be, but it's probably not the last time."

In September of this year, the police jury approved two new full time positions to replace employees who resigned.

Applications are still being accepted for both positions, which will be filled when the hiring freeze is lifted.






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