One thing always on the mind of Orange County Commissioner Jody Crump is the county's $3.1 million deficit.
"We need some help... we have to be diligent about every dollar... every employee," Crump told 12News Thursday.
At Monday's Commissioner's Court meeting, Crump presented a list of proposed budgetary cost saving measures. The list of 19 various proposals includes some of Crump's own ideas as well as suggestions he gathered from the community and county employees.
"What we're trying to do is reduce expenditures as much as we can," said Crump.
Some of the proposed ideas include:
-Consolidate mail room clerk and switchboard operator
-Reduce notaries to one per department
-Consolidate copiers to one area per building
-Contract court reporter services
-Restructure cell phone program (Crump says hundreds of employees are provided work phones paid for by the county. If that program was eliminated, Crump says county employees would use their own phones and be subsidized).
-Review employee retirement plan
-Eliminate longevity pay
-Eliminate termination pay
-Fill vacant employee positions after a six week period
-Introduce preliminary spending review process in County operations by Commissioners Court
-Reduce all travel with county owned vehicles to county business only
-Staffing levels, after review by Commissioners Court and department heads, are to be reduced to essential levels
With layoffs in the mix, Crump says there are difficult decisions ahead, but that something needs to be done to fix the shortfall.
"It's devastating... any changes, reduction in benefits... it's a very very hard thing to do, so this is not something that's going to be accomplished or looked at very lightly," said Crump.
Crump says he hopes to discuss the ideas in further detail at least twice a month at future Commissioners Court meetings.