Meridian Reacts to Decreased Revenues

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

The city of Meridian is feeling the pinch of the tough economy, and that means cuts.

City officials announced Wednesday that city revenues for the 2010 fiscal year are already down about $288,000 from this time a year ago.

Mayor Cheri Barry outlined where those cuts would come at a news conference.

Barry explained the cuts will be made across-the-board. Some departments will see a 2% reduction, while others will get an 11% cut. The mayor said the difference is based on how each department impacts services to the public.

Barry said a hiring freeze is in place, but also no layoffs. The city will closely evaluate any positions that are currently vacant, to determine whether it's necessary to fill them or not.

Meridian chief administrative officer Mark McDonald says the city's take-home vehicle policy is one alteration to help with the budget shortfall.

"All of the department heads, with the exception of the fire department, the police department, will be giving up their vehicles," said McDonald.

The new take-home vehicle policy will start Feb. 15.

Meridian city officials will also be revising and analyzing the city's cell phone plans and usage, looking for ways to save.


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  • by Anonymous on Feb 13, 2010 at 07:58 AM
    mmm reduced price for meals and such yes, but free, never as it can be seen as a bribe ... you know the theme that rings in all this... seems to be the very ones from the start that has been fired up about the new mayor...not one has opened mouth with out eating their foot.. this ranges from the hiring of officials to 3 ft. to 22nd bridge.. think is time they go back get a edumaction rather then play follow the leader that so far shown themselves as fools..
  • by concerned also Location: meridian on Feb 12, 2010 at 12:36 AM
    To not a cop: While an officer is on duty do you not think he can have lunch? Sorry but they do get lunch breaks that is a law...And since their "office" is their patrol car yes you will see them in their car at lunch. And for your misguided information they do not eat everwhere FREE. If a restaurant choses to give an officer free or a reduced meal that is their choice. Who do you think protects those restaurants at night at closing when they have night deposits or when they have problems. That is a way the managers thanks the officers for a job well done. Just like when a civilian gives officers cookies or bakes the cakes THANKING them for their help. Police officers do a great job for the City of Meridian. The men and women who work as police officers & at the fire department do it because they love what they do not because of the pay. And you also stated you have to pay vehicle payment & etc. SO DO THEY. THEY DO NOT RIDE IN THE PATROL CAR EVERYDAY THEY HAVE THEIR OWN VEHICLE TOO!!
  • by Michael Location: North Meridian on Feb 11, 2010 at 09:55 PM
    I'm not a city employee but thanks to the mayor for not cutting jobs. And as far as the vehicles or perks go... I think the police and fire crews without desk jobs should get a break. Nothing like putting your life on the line daily for people, and most people they work to protect and rescue make more money than they do.
  • by really Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2010 at 09:07 PM
    First lets go to the head of the state of mississippi and ask them this . Do they not get a monthly paycheck? If so ask yourself this question out of all my daily routines do i have a company car to and from work, do i have a company cell phone, do i have a company gas card. I have to manage my monthly paycheck well they need to manage theirs and not the use the money that was sent to the state for other reasons. Just atought! As for the police wife I had an accident and i called the police well i guess they were too busy b/c by the time they came the accident which happend almost 45 min. later but they serve and protcet ok maybe in your neighborhood!!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 11, 2010 at 09:02 PM
    city police just started taking cars home in the last couple of years and they drive them to theidr other jobs too.. what good does it do.. they should park theirs too...they dont come out when they are off, they even drive by when you need one on duty...
  • by concerned Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2010 at 02:19 PM
    I just want to say, I do believe police officers and firefighters in MDN deserve a raise. I was just using the police officers as an example. We need to start taking care of the people who risk their lives to take care of us everyday. We need to be able to keep quality people in MDN and not just someone who is here to get a paycheck or for the "perks". That is all I was saying. :)
  • by Anonymous on Feb 11, 2010 at 01:59 PM
    Im not saying i agree with everything the mayor is doing, but starting pay for a fireman is less than P.D. and they don't get to take fire trucks home.
  • by not a cop Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2010 at 12:42 PM
    If you look at all these comments closely the ones that are negative SEEM to be police officers or friends of. I see Meridian police getting lunch, doing errands, carrying friends and family, and whatever else in their City vehicle. On duty or off I don't know? There are several PERKS they get without driving a City owned vehicle. They eat where ever they want free or half price and get all the coffee they can drink free from some local convience stores. So what more can we give them? I have to pay my vehicle payment, insurance, gas, maintenance and pay full price for my lunch. So thats where we draw the line?.....everyone has to compromise except M.P.D..
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2010 at 12:39 PM
    I agree with concerened..these guys don't get paid much to deal with what they deal with. I have a K9 officer friend and he is going to have to take his vehicle home to transport his dog. As for others, well I don't see the point in it but that raises the "where will they park unused patrol cars?" question. There are several other things that can be done to cut back on the budget. But these guys, police officers, fire fighters, they don't make nearly enough money for risking their lives on a daily basis. The least we can do is let them drive their car home. No big deal really. Quite spending mone on stupid stuff and too high saleries.
  • by anonymous Location: Jasper co. on Feb 11, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    I Do not live in Meridian but my husband and I work, shop,play and do ALL of our business there. A Meridian I.C.E. Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe "Full size SUV" passes me going at least 85mph several times a week. This is not only one county away but 2 countys outside Meridian. Last time I filled my small vehicle (4 cyl) it cost me almost 30$ for reg unleaded. So How much does it cost to fill this City owned SUV? My husband is a Firefighter and he doesnt get to drive the fire truck home at all. Also he makes aprox 24,000/yr and he risks his life everytime he is on the job with out a vehicle PERK! Just like the comment made by Celia suggests, second shift can use first shifts vehicle. No unused cruisers to deal with in the first place. Last year when gas was so high Lauderdale CO. had to park all of their Sheriff Dept. vehicles so why don't we follow their example.
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