Yakima's 2019 city budget calls for job cuts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima's 2019 city budget calls for job cuts

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YAKIMA, WA - Discussions about the 2019 budget for the city of Yakima, have brought to light that several jobs will be up for elimination, while new ones will be formed.

Two weeks ago during a council meeting, members talked about several changes that may need to be implemented to meet the budget.

"The very first day we came to council with a challenge of a $3 million dollar deficit," said Ana Cortez, assistant city manager.

After reviewing expenses, city council members recognized where the cuts needed to happen.

"75% of our general fund is spent on public safety salaries and benefits," said Cortez.

With that said two positions within the Yakima Fire Department and five positions within the police department are up for elimination. 

Out of those seven jobs it's important to note that at this time only two are filled. Those positions are held by public information officers (PIO) who work with the media. 

Interim Police Chief says he understands the city has to make changes.

"Certainly anytime you remove positions whether they are filled or not they are going to impact the department, whether short term or long term," said Garry Jones, Interim Police Chief 

Cortez explains how information will be delegated to the public even with the removal of the fire and police PIO's.

"The community relations department is going to continue providing community relations related activities, including information. We do want to bring in a new bilingual bicultural persona that can help us with all of the information that the city needs to provide," said Cortez.

Cortez also says that even with all these cuts the city is still looking at a $2 million dollar deficit and those are things they will have to discuss in the future.