Petal officials: layoffs leave too few workers

Published 4:39 pm Monday, June 8, 2009

Since the town of Petal laid off 19 workers and accepted resignations from four others, some department heads say they no longer have enough people to keep up with city services.

They say they need either part-time workers or volunteers to fill the gaps.

Police Chief lee Shelbourn says he lost two of three traffic officers. They were among five officers and two civilians cut from his department.

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The municipal court lost three workers, leaving only Judge Sheila Smallwood, the court clerk, the city prosecutor and the city defense attorney. The judge says court meets only once a week, and there’s too much administrative work for one person to do on that one day.

Recreation Director Tom Hardges said he has only three full-time employees after losing four. A fifth worker was moved from full- to part-time.