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Middletown council saves part-time jobs, cuts town manager

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Middletown Town Council heeded public outcry late Monday night and chose not to cut two part-time employees to balance next year's budget.

But council stood firm on its decision to eliminate the town manager position, according to Mayor Charles H. Harbaugh IV. The action saves the town approximately $51,000, Harbaugh explained.

As a result of finding a way to keep the part-time public works and police detective positions, Harbaugh said Tuesday that town Zoning Administrator Fred Wharton took back his letter of resignation. Wharton submitted to council the letter in which he advised his intent to resign if members didn't restore to the budget the two part-time positions.

Council had decided to cut the positions in order to reduce spending of approximately $20,000.

Several people spoke at a public hearing held on the budget Monday night and each person urged council to find other ways to balance the fiscal 2013 budget than to cut positions.

During a work session after the hearing Councilman Clarence C. "Trip" Chewning III admitted members acted hastily when they reached the consensus last week to cut the three staff positions.

Members went into closed session to discuss the budget issue as personnel matters and council met with each department leader one-on-one, Harbaugh said. Council asked the department supervisors to show how they could reduce the same $20,000 from their individual budgets, according to Harbaugh. Police Chief R. Philip Breeden and Donald A. Riffey, superintendent of the public works department, discussed their budgets with council and showed how they would cut spending elsewhere to save the two jobs, Harbaugh said.

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