OAK PARK, MI (WXYZ) - The City of Oak Park is being criticized for laying off 20 workers, including 12 public safety officers, while moving forward with plans to build a new municipal building.
Two additional public safety officers retired and one has already taken a job with another city to avoid being laid off.
Eight employees with AFSCME Local 513 are also being laid off.
On Monday, Council voted 3-2 to move forward with plans to construct the new building that will house city hall and public safety offices. The Mayor even voted 'no' for the project, but Councilman Paul Levine, who voted 'yes', told Action News that he believes the new building will actually save Oak Park money.
Oak Park City Manager Rick Fox says the money to build the new municipal building was approved by voters in a millage two year ago and it cannot be spent on wages and benefits.
Erik Sanders, President of the Oak Park Police Officers Association, fears operating costs for the new building will force the city to layoff even more employees.
The layoffs take effect April 20.
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