City Workers Laid Off

Now that firefighter and police officer jobs are being cut, residents in St. Bernard say it's a good thing the city is only 1.3 square miles.

This week Mayor John Estep told ten city employees they were being laid off in an effort to make up for a total budget shorfall of 2 million dollars.

Estep tells FOX 19, "It's gonna be a change in the level of services. I don't think it will be an unsafe environment by any means. We don't want to do that at all."

There are those around St. Bernard like Paul Laumann who think some of the luxuries should've been cut first. Laumann says for example, "Some of the money spent on christmas displays . . . the money spent on the statue dogs. The money spent on the pool."

A police force that was 18 strong is now 15. The St. Bernard fire department goes from 29 to 25 that's one person per shift and an inspector.

It's not yet known if response time will be affected.  The layoffs are effective March 1st.  A petition challenging the cutbacks is expected to be presented to the city council at 8pm Thursday night.