MARIETTA - Marietta city employees crowded into the community building at Lookout Park Thursday night for what they and city council members thought would be the introduction of legislation requiring most workers to take up to 56 furlough days over the next year.
But the measure was not on the city council meeting agenda.
"The ordinance simply wasn't ready and needed some more work - it's more complex than it looks," said Roland Riggs III, Marietta's law director.
The legislation would require all city employees, except 24-hour water and sewer plant operators, to take furlough days beginning Nov. 1 through 2011 to help the city fill a projected $1.8 million gap in the municipal general fund by the end of next year.
Council members agreed to pursue the legislation at the recommendation of Marietta Safety-Service Director Chad Presley during an employee relations meeting last week.
Councilman Jon Grimm, R-3rd Ward, who sat in Thursday for employee relations chairman Andy Thompson, R-at large, said the legislation is now scheduled for introduction at the next regular council session Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lookout Park community building.
Thompson was out of town on business and unable to attend Thursday's meeting.
Although the measure was not introduced, there was still a lot of concern expressed about the proposal.
"I've been very disgusted with recent stories in the news media - this issue is being twisted," said Marietta fire Chief Tom Dempsey.
"You know our situation. We're very short staffed now, but we're able to make it work," he said. "If these furloughs take effect your (wards) will take a big hit without a rescue unit."