Waveland cuts 20 percent of its city employees

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland aldermen may have saved their police department, but they couldn't save jobs.Thursday, 19 city workers got laid off, or switched to part-time status. That's more than 20 percent of the employees on Waveland's payroll.

But without the cuts, city leaders said Waveland would basically go bankrupt.

Former City of Waveland employee Ethel Gladny had a sneaking suspicion she'd be packing up her desk and going home.

"Yeah, I pretty well knew a few days ago that this would be coming," Gladny said.

Gladny's job was the one position in the Waveland Court Department that just got eliminated.

"It's a sad day, it really is. But I'm still here. I thank God that I'm still alive," Gladny said.

Of the 89 city workers in Waveland, 19 either got laid off, or moved to part-time status. The city attorney said the adjustments will save cash-strapped Waveland $120,000 a month. Kendall Laneaux was one of four men who got pink slips from the Public Works Department.

"Uh, just try to get another job, go to cutting grass and try to move on. That's all I can do," Laneaux said.

Waveland has been adjusting its staffing numbers since January. When the year started, it had nearly 110 full-time workers. But because of a budget crisis, 39 people have either been shifted to part-time status, or laid off. The city attorney described the change as a temporary solution to what some may perceive as a temporary problem.

Even the police department is feeling the pinch. Aldermen trimmed a staff of 17 full-time officers to eight patrolmen and a handful of part-time auxiliary officers.

"Well, it's a big relief. Half is better than none," Waveland resident Geri Bleau said.

That positive spin is something you hear a lot around town, even from the people most affected by the Waveland budget crisis.

"I just hope it gets better for them, because I love this city. So I'm just going to live here and just go from there," Laneaux said.

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