City of Fairfield 'temporarily' shutting down several major departments

Fairfield City workers in multiple departments will be out of a job "until further notice."

In a notice posted by the City of Fairfield Friday, the city says it is "temporarily" shutting down several major departments.

Fairfield City Hall, Municipal Magistrate's Office, Fairfield Civic Center, and Fairfield Parks and Recreation workers will be out of a job "until further notice."

The city says the action comes by way of the Fairfield City Council's decision to defund personnel positions.

City leadership at odds -- leading to poor communication to city employees. And, mixed messages to me. Bottom line: what's the impact to Fairfield residents and its employees? Today, several workers did not see a paycheck. Council members say the decision was made in December.

"The positions were de-funded a month ago, so those persons had no reason to be working here," says District 2 councilwoman, Susan Jo Parks. "The mayor did not carry out his responsibility."

"Which is why the council has to be responsible and make sure the city has adequate funding to make sure the city stays operational," says council president, Eddie Penny.

City council members passed a resolution on December 6th to defund multiple paid positions, including the city hall receptionist, economic development officer, and others. A move the council says the mayor was aware of.

"He didn't execute his responsibility in telling them," says Penny. "We did what we were supposed to do."

As for the impact of these changes on residents, Penny says they shouldn't notice much of a change.

"Most of our departments operate at a skeleton staff anyway."

For example, Penny says the Parks and Recreation department. had already been closed. And, the civic center only opens as it's booked. So, those staffing positions were cut.

"It's not a position of necessity when you have so many other needs."

The City of Fairfield is still crippled from the closing of Wal-Mart years ago. More than a million in yearly tax revenue -- never recouperated.

"That's obvious," Penny says. "Anytime you lose a major revenue source like Wal-Mart it's going to have a ripple effect on the city."

"I am a fourth generation Fairfieldian. It's very disheartening," says Parks. "But, we're going to remedy this, and move forward."

The police department and fire department are in tact. Trash services are not impacted. But if you call city hall or see issues involving your local park, you should expect to leave a message. I'm still working to find out if employees will get paid, because the president of the council says the employees impacted will not get a check.

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