Morehead City

Reporter's note: This article was updated at 11:52 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2020, with a full report.

MOREHEAD CITY — The city recently laid off more than a dozen employees due to an anticipated budget shortfall as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Morehead City Manager Ryan Eggleston told the News-Times the city laid off 10 full-time and eight part-time workers across several departments. He said for “privacy reasons,” he could not give a breakdown of which departments were affected, but confirmed some of the layoffs were in the fire and police departments. He called the impact to those departments “minimal.”

“It was a citywide organizational change and the impact … was in a multitude of departments across the city,” he said.

Mr. Eggleston said Morehead City anticipates “significant” budget impacts as a result of lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a Monday news release announcing the layoffs, the city said it anticipates at least $1.3 million in lost revenue, approximately 10% of the annual general fund balance. The majority of the loss is a result of lost sales tax revenues since the state’s stay-at-home order went into effect in March.

“The city is currently facing very serious financial impacts from this pandemic,” Mr. Eggleston said in the release. “As we finalize our (fiscal year 2020-21) budget, we are significantly reducing non-personnel expenses and delaying capital improvement projects, but the reality is that the financial impact requires immediate action. My heart goes out to all our employees who have dedicated their service and expertise to this community.”

Mr. Eggleston said some of the eight part-time employees laid off had previously been furloughed due the anticipated budget shortfall. Many of those employees work at the Webb Library and are considered “nonessential.”

According to the release, Morehead City offered the full-time employees a severance package, and they are eligible to receive unemployment benefits immediately.

Mr. Eggleston said he informed the Morehead City Council last week of the decision to lay off workers. One city council member told the News-Times the decision was made Tuesday during a closed session following the council’s regular monthly meeting, but Mr. Eggleston clarified it was his decision to make the layoffs.

“I advised the city council the layoffs were coming, but ultimately the decision was a city manager decision,” Mr. Eggleston said.

The city recently allocated $300,000 for an emergency small business loan program that has drawn some criticism from residents. Certain eligible small businesses affected by the pandemic can receive up to $5,000 in loans to help pay rent or mortgage payments.

“Unlike a hurricane, tornado or past economic downturns in Morehead City, the duration of this crisis is unknown,” Mr. Eggleston said in the release. “COVID-19 is impacting every community across the world. It is creating very real financial hardships for businesses and individuals, and there is incredible uncertainty about a timeline on when we can begin a new normal.”

 

Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

 

(Previous report)

MOREHEAD CITY — The city has laid off more than a dozen employees due to a budget shortfall as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Jerry Jones confirmed the layoffs to the News-Times Monday, and City Manager Ryan Eggleston said the city laid off 10 full-time employees and an additional “eight or so” part-time employees across several departments.

“Unlike a hurricane, tornado or past economic downturns in Morehead City, the duration of this crisis is unknown,” Mr. Eggleston said in a Monday release. “COVID-19 is impacting every community across the world.  It is creating very real financial hardships for businesses and individuals, and there is incredible uncertainty about a timeline on when we can begin a new normal.”

In the release, the city confirmed it had laid off 10 full-time and eight part-time employees. The city offered these employees a severance package, and they are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits right away.

Mr. Eggleston said Morehead City anticipates “significant” impacts to the budget as a result of lost revenues due to the pandemic. The news release says the city faces at least $1.3 million in lost revenue, approximately 10% of the annual general fund balance. The majority of the loss is a result of lost revenues from sales tax since the state’s stay-at-home order took effect in March.

“The city is currently facing very serious financial impacts from this pandemic,” Mr. Eggleston said in the release. “As we finalize our budget, we are significantly reducing non-personnel expenses and delaying capital improvement projects, but the reality is that the financial impact requires immediate action.  My heart goes out to all our employees who have dedicated their service and expertise to this community.”

The city council will meet for a budget workshop Tuesday afternoon to discuss the impacts.

 

(Previous report)

MOREHEAD CITY — The city has laid off more than a dozen employees due to a budget shortfall as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Jerry Jones confirmed the layoffs to the News-Times Monday. City Manager Ryan Eggleston said the city laid off 10 full-time employees and an additional “eight or so” part-time employees. He said the layoffs were across several departments.

Mr. Eggleston said Morehead City anticipates “significant” impacts to the budget as a result of lost revenues due to the pandemic.

The city council will meet for a budget workshop Tuesday afternoon to discuss the impacts.

 

This is a developing report.

 

(Previous report)

MOREHEAD CITY — The city has laid off employees due to a budget shortfall as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Jerry Jones confirmed Monday the city laid off workers last week but declined to provide further information.

Multiple attempts to reach Town Manager Ryan Eggleston has been unsuccessful.  

 

This is a developing report.

(9) comments

Drime

Could it be that the Officials running the town have been putting wants in front of our needs ? A tremendous amount of $ has been spent on wants over the last 10 years or so .

beachmami13

[thumbup][thumbup]

former county resident

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beachmami13

I completely agree! I've seen over and over again how much the local towns are spending on things that aren't necessary or overspending on necessary items (Shevans, administrative buildings, etc, etc.). Where is the oversight? We seem to be moving towards a county that has champagne taste but should be sticking to a beer budget. really frustrating to see the county lay off employees yet be building a Taj Mahal for administrative buildings.

David Collins

Pretty simple yet difficult at the same time . This runaway spending comes from the mindset of the officials you elect to supposedly make those tough decisions . Would be real nice to be able to know who would be looking out for you and who wants to build a legacy for themselves . Look a bit closer at the candidates and how they have lived their lives . Plenty of clues there . The lame and lazy ones should be replaced because they are just rubber stampers that just want to get out of the meetings . This attitude trickles down to the various staffing levels who can see an easy ride when they see one . Attitude does make a difference . It’s not just MHC , it is all over .

CARTERETISCORRUPT

It is a two prong issue: Too many folks living off taxpayers, and too much spending on un-necessary things. Beauforts getting a million dollar ladder firetruck is one of them. A Altec bucket truck would be far less expensive and just as effective. We don't have skyscrapers in Carteret.

MHC Resident

Two major boondoggles come to mind. Building a baseball park with taxpayer dollars & then hand ALL the revenue opportunities to the team owner. Not to mention the lawsuits that were settled with neighbors. New Bern rejected the team but MHC taxpayers got STUCK with the tab. Next - taxpayers were on the hook for most of the expense of a waterfront landing for big rock weigh-ins & let's not forget that atrocious looking marlin statue. Both the ball park & waterfront project should have been strictly private projects. They reap most if not all the rewards and none of the risks. But no worries, we'll just fire employees, some that have served our town faithfully. Nice work mayor jones.

Drime

I am glad that other taxpayers are seeing what is really happening in Morehead , but is there enough of us to vote for change ? That is what it takes . Remember 3 out of the 5 commissioners have the power !

beachmami13

I sure hope so!

Welcome to the discussion.

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