The Shelby County Commission have decided not to vote on a tax increase. That does not mean there will not be a tax increase; just not now.
In the meantime, the mayor's office and the commission will spend some time trying to find around $60 million or cut jobs and or services, none of which are a happy topic to ponder.
Shelby Co. Commission says nay to tax hike
Robert Half International hires people all the time and they offer accounting services, high tech experts and they consult with businesses that face the same problems as Shelby County. So if Shelby County were a business what would the advice be from the folks at Robert Half?
Stephanie Majers Drouillard runs the Memphis office for Robert Half International; she says most companies are going to have to take a look at overhead. They need to look at what they are spending and is it the most wise, valuable thing to spend this money on? Also, look at staff that they have in place and is everyone contributing?
With more than 6,000 Shelby County employees, could certain jobs be changed from full time to part time, combined with cutting expenses?
Drouillard says she has seen a mixture of both and actually private sector, as well as government, have taken steps to watch expenses and that a full time head count is a large expense when you consider unemployment costs, taxes, time off and all the benefits involved. Utilizing contractors just for peak instances might be a better way to go and can actually save a company money.
It is not unheard of for a government to go out and actually make money. The Shelby County Correctional Center has been around for a 135 years and in the early days the inmates were used for labor to build highways and roads at 10-cents a day. They also raised their own produce and livestock. The Shelby County Penal Farm, as it was known back then, was pretty much self-sufficient.
"There was some upholstering going on back in the day that was self-sufficient," said Brent Perkins, Public Information Officer with the Shelby County Fire Dept. "As a matter of fact, there was a kitchen and cafeteria environment and county employees would come over here and have lunch prepared by the individuals that were inmates here.
"It's something we were just talking about. It's an interesting thing to sit and compare what's happening today with what was happening back then," Perkins added. "I think it was probably a neat idea then. Could it be again? If it was managed correctly, it might warrant some looking into."
So there you are. Start looking around and help our county leaders come up with ways of cutting the cost of operating the county without causing too much disruption in our way of life. Otherwise, you will have to learn to operate your household with less money. The choice is yours.