Rybak proposes hiring freeze for Minneapolis

  • Updated: December 1, 2008 - 8:31 PM

Minneapolis city officials are recommending that the city impose a hiring freeze in response to an expected state deficit and national economic conditions.

The freeze on external hiring was proposed Monday by Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson. The measure is expected to come before the City Council for approval on Dec. 12.

The freeze would be the second imposed in five years. The city stopped hiring in early 2003 after signs that the Legislature would cut its local government aid program. That cut eventually cost the city $35 million annually.

The city expects more potential aid cuts and could see its haul diminish from sales and hospitality taxes it collects, Johnson said. Rybak and Johnson said in a prepared statement that taking steps now will put the city in better financial shape down the road.

Rybak said he thinks the city is in a better position to ride out an economic slump than it was five years ago because it has paid down some of its debt and adopted five-year financial plans.

The city already faces at least an extra $38 million in pension costs over the next five years because of stock market losses this year.

STEVE BRANDT

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