Legal Issues and Anderson and Local Government and Legislation and Madison County and Regional News and Government and Law

Judge: Anderson can lay off firefighters

October 24, 2012

A Madison County judge has thrown out parts of the city of Anderson's contract with its firefighters that bars layoffs and sets minimum staffing levels.

Circuit Judge Dennis Carroll said in a 27-page ruling Tuesday said that Indiana law gives municipalities the right to lay off employees because of economic conditions. Carroll says that's a core management right that can't be bargained away.

Anderson city attorney Jason Childers says he's happy with the decision.

The Herald Bulletin said the ruling set the stage for furloughing as many as 20 firefighters and seven police officer to close a budget deficit. The Anderson City Council was expected to take up the budget later Tuesday.

A message seeking comment was left for Anderson Professional Firefighters Local 1262.

A councilman offered a plan Tuesday night making $1.3 million in alternative cuts and using most of that money to keep the police and fire department positions. The council voted unanimously to delay decisions on the budget until Monday.

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith said he'll look at any suggestions, but that years of declining property tax revenue have left the city with few options.

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