Twenty-seven Royse City employees laid off during past week

Twenty seven employees at the City of Royse City were laid off during the past week as a result of the City’s sudden and unexpected financial crisis.

The layoffs were the first round of budget cuts required to deal with the City’s $1.9 million cash shortfall discovered last month, according to Larry Lott, who was appointed by the City Council as an interim co-city manager with city attorney Jason Day.

The first employee to be let go was City Manager Karen Philippi last month, when the financial problems were first discovered. She is not accused of stealing any money and has appealed her suspension.

Other changes are also beginning to take place at the City.

Last week, city hall calls were being answered by an telephone answering machine. The staff at the library in city hall has been reduced to volunteers, except for the director.

On the other hand, apparently the Public Works and Animal Services departments will continue to be funded without disruption.

A special meeting has been scheduled for tonight by the City Council to consider additional cuts, including reducing or suspending pay for the Mayor and Council members.

A public hearing regarding the proposed new tax rate of 17 cents, to 66 cents per $100 of taxable value,has been scheduled at city hall for Sept. 10 at 7 pm.

Another public hearing to discuss the revised 2008-09 city budget will be Sept. 17 at 7 pm.

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