SEATTLE --- On his first day in office, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed several executive orders which would reduce and limit the spending of the top-tier of city government, including salaries freezes and the reduction of senior level employees by 200 positions.
According to preliminary estimates, the city will face a general-fund deficit of at least $40 million in 2011. The deficit is in addition to the $70 million the city faced in 2009, which reduced the rainy day account balance from $30 million to $10 million.
On Monday, McGinn signed four executive orders which will:
*Freeze salaries for senior-level employees and reduce the number of furlough days for those employees.
*Require the mayoral office review all new hires
*Require the mayoral office review all new contracts
*Instruct all departments to begin the process of reducing the number of management and executive level employees by 200 positions.
In a released statement, McGinn's office said City of Seattle had 639 senior-level employees eight years ago during economic good times. Currently, the number of senior-level employees is 951, an increase of 49 percent, while the overall city workforce increased only 2 percent that same period.
McGinn's office acknowledged the process will be difficult, but "fiscal reality requires that we begin the process of reducing costs in a deliberative and thoughtful manner, so that city government retains the capacity to serve Seattle residents and we avoid deeper and more disruptive cuts in the future."