Hialeah Budget Includes Fire Department Layoffs

HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) — The Hialeah City Council has agreed to lay off more than 100 firefighters in an effort to cut the city’s budget deficit.

Council members approved the city’s $263 million budget Wednesday.

The Miami Herald reports 14 firefighters and nine trainees will be let go on Saturday, the first day of the fiscal year. Another 12 vacant positions will be eliminated.

The newspaper reports another 70 firefighters will laid off — half on Dec. 1 and the other half on March 1. The cuts total 39 percent of the department.

Firefighters and their supporters packed the council chambers for a 90-mintue debate that ended with the council’s 7-0 vote to approve the budget and the job cuts.

Mayor Carlos Hernandez says the budget was necessary to avoid a deficit of more than $13 million.

Source: The Miami Herald, Associated Press