Eldon community frustrated with city budget spending after four cuts

2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
By: Zola Crowder, KOMU 8 Reporter
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ELDON - Four city workers in Eldon are left in the dark after they have been notified by the city that they will not have a job come January 1, 2020.

The City of Eldon cut three full-time firefighters and one dispatcher, citing budget cuts.

City leaders have not commented on why the employment moves were made. At the end of the meeting Daphney Partridge, Ward One alderman made a brief statement.

"None of the decisions that were made, were made lightly. They have been very considered and very deliberate, I assure you," she said. 

A tightening budget isn't only affecting full-time, paid workers. Volunteer firefighters usually get certain perks or reimbursements, but the city cut them. Essentially, the firefighters are working for free.

A 40-year veteran of the Eldon fire service, Clancy Boots, said he is surprised to see any volunteers left. 

"The volunteers right now don't even have any incentive, they feel like second class citizens because what little stipend they got, has been taken away as well, so what else can they do to the fire department."

At a meeting Tuesday night, members of the community showed up trying to figure out where the money is going. An EMT, Kathleen Vernon, asked the board directly why the cuts were being made. 

"They are reducing staff they say for budgeting issues, budgeting issues that not many of us understand, which it's not our job to, but we should be informed."

The Mayor said he will revisit the issues at the last meeting of the year.

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