Extra:City Promises: Prattville
We continue our series "City Promises." We're taking a look at what mayors promised going into office and seeing where they are with those plans now.
CBS 8 Reporter, Catalina Trivino, sits down with Prattville Mayor, Bill Gillespie.
Three years ago, Bill Gillespie was appointed as mayor of Prattville -- inheriting millions of dollars in debt. Some say he inherited a financial mess when he took office. The city was even on the verge of filing for bankruptcy -- but he promised to bring down the debt.
City Councilman, Ray Boles, worked under former mayor Jim Byard's administration.
The city has reduced the deficit by nearly $20 million dollars in three years. Gillespie says it took tough decisions, including heavy cuts-- losing about 100 city employees. Those remaining were forced to take three furlough days. A hiring freeze was also in effect.
Then came the most unpopular decision...
"And then we raised revenue by one of the largest ways is by sales tax increase. It went strictly towards the debt," Said Gillespie.
The city also studied the waste water and sanitation department and discovered they were $1 million dollars over budget. Gillespie says they weren't charging enough to cover their own costs.