Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the city's financial situation is on the verge of going under. City Manager Mark Scott says about 80% of Fresno's general fund is spent on employee salaries.
The mayor says the only way for Fresno to get back on it's feet is to cut employee salaries and benefits. In the next 60 days, the city plans to work with the unions to cut back on costs.The city did not rule out filing for bankruptcy if the employee concessions don't move forward.
Swearengin says, "Our firefighters are already staffed at a very thin level, reducing that staffing level further is absolutely unacceptable to the public, and our employees, there is no plan b."
The Fresno Police Officers Association (FPOA) and the Fresno City Firefighters came together on Monday. They say they need more information from the city before any decisions are made.
Jacky Parks with FPOA says, "It depends on what the city really is trying to get at the bottom dollar and how willing they are to try to work with the city employees."
Kirk Wanless is the President of the Fresno City Firefighters. He says, "We made a deal last year as firefighters. If we made another deal, do we get asked again next year to make another deal? When does it stop?"
The mayor will present the budget plan to the city council next Thursday. The council will vote on the plan the following week.