Bernero Seeks Shorter Workweek to Close Budget Gap

LANSING, MI – City of Lansing employees would have a four-day, 36-hour workweek under a budget plan unveiled by Mayor Virg Bernero on Monday. The city is facing a $12 million budget gap.

Under the mayor's plan to balance the 2011 budget, city offices would also be closed one day a week. Bernero says his plan would avoid layoffs, reserve spending and tax increases. Councilmember Brian Jeffries says the city should consider targeted millages to pay for things like parks, roads or police before cutting services. He says Bernero, who is running for governor, may be putting his gubernatorial aspirations before the needs of the city.

"I think there is a fear that people are going to look at that politically as a tax increase, and as campaigns move forward that's certainly a big negative," Jeffires says. "I think everything needs to be on the table at this point at least so we can educate the public and let the public tell us what they want."

The council will start its deliberations on the $109 million budget next month.