Wareham Town Administrator institutes hiring freeze
Faced with skyrocketing healthcare increases, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan has instituted a municipal hiring freeze.
The freeze took effect last week under Sullivan’s order. Positions funded using money from the town’s general fund will be affected, meaning departments that rely on user fees to pay select personnel may still hire, Sullivan said.
“As we’re continuing to go into the fiscal year 2018 budget, and we know there’s not much relief unless something happens with healthcare…anything going forward will need to be reviewed,” Sullivan told Selectmen at the board’s Tuesday night meeting.
Sullivan made the announcement at the urging of Selectman Patrick Tropeano.
Sullivan noted that seasonal positions, such as additional police officers for summer, will go forward as planned because the funds have already been secured.
Otherwise, department heads must obtain Sullivan’s approval before bringing on new hires.
Tuesday’s news arrived three weeks after Sullivan informed Selectmen that the town is facing a dire fiscal challenge. At the beginning of the month, Sullivan told board members that town and school officials must cut nearly $225,000 overall in order to balance the town’s budget.
Before Sullivan’s announcement, town departments requested a $370,000 increase compared to last year. School officials requested a $2 million increase compared to last year.