Government Layoffs in Saint Louis
There have been two recent examples of significant government employee layoffs in the Saint Louis area — if you count Metro employees as government workers, which in many ways they are. The Post-Dispatch‘s transportation blog has a report about Metro staff getting their last paychecks as part of the agency’s budget cuts.
Contrast this with the Post story the other day about private business trying to fill the needs created by the budget cuts. If Metro, St. Louis County, and St. Louis city would all work together to eliminate many existing restrictions on the activities of private businesses in the transit sector, perhaps some of the laid-off employees would be hired. The Show-Me Institute will release more about this issue soon.
The other item is the very surprising news that the city treasurer’s office is laying off 70 (!) people. Here is the story in the Beacon, via Combest. That is rather amazing. I was told by a reliable source that most of the people being fired have already vested in the pension system, so it is not like anybody is being kicked out with nothing coming to them, which sounds fair. However, it is surprising that the treasurer, Larry Williams, has made this decision, and he deserves great credit for it. I have no doubt that for years, under all prior Treasurers, that office has been a hotbed of patronage — as the state auditor’s office discussed recently. But Williams deserves praise for making the difficult decision to place taxpayer dollars over political favoritism.