AUSTIN (KXAN) - The proposed 2014 budget for the City of Austin would add 365 new city jobs even though there are currently 900 vacant positions across several departments.
Property taxes are soaring to help pay for the budget and Councilman Mike Martinez does not believe the new requests are efficient.
“It is probably not any kind of calculated attempt to hide employees or revenue," he said, "but it is just a bad budget practice."
Departments submitting budget requests may ask for existing positions to be funded even if the position has not been filled for some time.
Martinez suggested freezing some of the unfilled positions.
“I am going to start marking where we could potentially freeze those employee positions and create some real cost savings,” said Martinez at Wednesday’s budget city budget hearing.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Martinez posed several questions during the presentation of the municipal court budget.
He says he identified four positions that would likely not be filled, yet would be funded in the budget.
“There has to be a critical discussion about it,” Martinez said.
“We couldn’t understand how we could have so many vacancies that could not be filled for months, yet those departments are asking for new employees.”
The budget hearings will continue on Aug. 22 and 29.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.
TxTAG’s customer call center lines are jammed as toll road violators scramble to pay up and avoid staying on a published scofflaw list.
A 13-year-old girl who told police she had been kidnapped from her school and assaulted on Monday, admitted to police she made the story up.
The U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin next year will be held Nov. 2 and F1 weekend will not coincide with a UT Longhorns home football game.
One woman died early Wednesday after several shots were fired at a North Austin mechanic shop.