"As we balanced we have not scheduled in a raise for employees," said city manager Lee Ann Dumbauld
Mayor Tom Martin says in just a few days the city manager and staff were able to cut about $3-million dollars in expenses just through management decisions. Now the budget is just $1-million short. But Dumbauld says there is still no room to increase pay for city employees.
"Do we want our employees not to receive any salary increase? All of us our suffering, I am because of the fuel," said city councilwoman Linda DeLeon.
DeLeon says citizens need to trust the city government, despite the cost.
"We have got to be better educated about the facts. We are driven a lot by a group of citizens that say we want less government we want lower taxes. We aren't the highest tax entity in Lubbock, Texas. That's your Lubbock independent school district," said DeLeon.
One way the city manager is considering cutting costs is by eliminating 28 vacant city jobs.
"I think that's much preferable then trying to have a reduction of force, than eliminating people of positions that are employed," said Martin.
Though, pay raises, tax increases and the budget are still up in the air the mayor says he is hopeful.
"I am very optimistic that by the time the manager is ready to present us the final budget proposal probably in July or August, that we will not only be able to hold the line on taxes and give city employees raises, but we'll have a balanced budget," said Martin.
The final budget is due by October 1, 2008.