Sunset Valley eliminates 5 city positions because of COVID-19

Investigations

SUNSET VALLEY, Texas (KXAN) — The city of Sunset Valley confirmed to KXAN Tuesday that they’ve eliminated five city positions due to COVID-19.

KXAN inquired about the cuts after several tipsters reached out.

“As you are probably aware, our city does not have a property tax and relies almost exclusively on sales tax,” City Administrator Sylvia Carrillo-Trevino said. “Projections show a reduction of almost 80% in that area so a drastic reduction of expenses was required.”

Carrillo-Trevino said the cuts, which include a permits coordinator and operations manager positions, were in administration and public works. The affected employees will be paid through the end of April, including benefits.

She said the city made these moves last Wednesday.

This follows last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where the council unanimously voted to cut around $410,000 in non-essential budget allocations.

The cuts, according to city documents, include eliminating employee benefits for the rest of the current fiscal year — May through September — and reducing employer coverage in medical, dental, vision and life insurance from 100% to 80%.

Not everyone agrees with the city’s cost-cutting measures, though.

In a letter to the city, former Councilman Ketan U. Kharod said their response was “hasty.”

No one expected this situation or anticipated economic slowdown, and a reduction in the city budget likely will be required. But it boggles the mind that you collectively would begin slashing employees, reducing employee benefits, and reducing environmental and community programs before we have even received any actual financial data showing lost revenue.

Former City Councilman Ketan U. Kharod

The City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled — virtually — for next Tuesday.

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