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Mingo County weighs possible layoffs, wage cuts

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – Due to the continued decline of the local economy, potential budget cuts and layoffs were announced at a special meeting of the Mingo County Commission prior to an executive session held with several elected officials to discuss personnel.

The special meeting was held early Monday morning. The current budget was discussed in depth prior to the executive session with elected officials .

Before going into executive session, the commissioners reflected upon the current situation and the difficult decisions they face.

Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith stated, “Here is where we stand. We set the budget and you all made cuts to meet your budget according to the best guess of what the money would be. You know we lowered every budget and we have lowered our budget drastically for the county commission…We had a telephone conference with the State Auditor’s Office and he said, ‘Commissioner, I can’t tell you. We are in unchartered water in W.Va. We have never seen this before where the revenues are so low that the budgets are going to be missed so bad and the cash flow is nonexistent’…. If our collections are not significant for the month of September, we are going to have to look at reducing the elected official’s budget. I don’t see any other way … I know I haven’t been able to sleep and have been sick at this. Even though we have cut substantially, I suspect by the end of this meeting, there will be more county commission employees that will lose their job. That is a drop in the bucket at what we are looking at … What is frustrating is that there will be a loss of services to the tax payer. At the end of September, we will be potentially be looking to reduce the budget for elected officials.”

Commission President John Mark Hubbard stated, “You only have two choices. We may actually have to do both of them. We are going to probably have to lay some people off. We might have to cut wages…

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