SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
Sparks Justice Court will be closed for lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., effective Friday, July 1, 2011. The new hours of operation are necessary because of the Court’s required $37,000 budget reduction plan for fiscal year 2011-2012.
During this lunch-hour and at 4:00 p.m., the Court’s telephones will be forwarded to voicemail to allow staff time to process time-sensitive paperwork, as well as perform their other job functions.
Earlier this week the Board of County Commissioners approved a $311 million general fund budget, which includes the Spark Justice Court budget reductions. Washoe County has reduced its budget over the past five years by a total of 769 positions (17%) and more than $154 million, with the recommended General Fund spending budget for 2011-2012 some 21% less than 2007-08. Spending levels are now at 2005 levels, with staffing at 2004 or earlier levels. Employees have foregone cost-of-living raises since 2007 and have given back voluntary wage and benefit concessions that totaled more than $9 million last year, and negotiations are currently underway with employee unions for $11.6 million of wage and benefit concessions for next fiscal year. If the Governor’s proposed budget is approved by the Legislature, it would have an estimated $24 million impact upon the just-approved budget requiring further cuts which would most likely include additional layoffs given the magnitude of budget reductions over the past several years. By state statute, the County’s budget can be amended 30 days after the Legislative session ends to reflect any legislative impact.