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Government Jobs in Haywood County Could Be Eliminated

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

HAYWOOD COUNTY, Tenn -- Dozens of jobs in Brownsville and Haywood County are at risk if Haywood County converts to a metro form of government.

As a result some jobs just won't be needed anymore.

Jo Matherne is the mayor of Brownsville; but if Haywood County adopts the consolidated government her job and possibly dozens of others in the city would be eliminated.

"There will be a single metro mayor and single council that would replace the current Board of Alderman," Mayor Matherne said.

This isn't the end of the possible changes. This week, the majority of the 15 metro Charter Commissioners voted in favor of consolidating most departments, including public safety, road and sanitation, and finance, adding to the 11.9 percent unemployment rate in the county; but Mayor Matherne said it's too early to tell.

"As far as I know there have not been any final decisions just yet," Matherne said.

But there are benefits that officials said come with a consolidated government like savings for taxpayers who will have to fund fewer positions.

Officials said a metro government could also give the county an economic edge overall, making the area more appealing to new industry.

Ultimately it will be up to voters who will decide next summer if a metro government is right for the county.