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L.A. council agrees to 3,000 more job cuts by July 1

Under the threat of a credit rating downgrade, the Los Angeles City Council on Thursday instructed agency heads to eliminate 3,000 additional city jobs “by any means necessary, including layoffs” by July 1.

The reduction — aimed in part a wresting further concessions from the city’s unions — would be in addition to 1,000 job cuts already in the works. Those alone are expected to lead to 250 to 350 workers receiving pink slips, officials said.

The council vote comes a day after Moody’s Investment Services, one of the nation’s top financial credit rating agencies, issued a negative outlook for Los Angeles because of the city’s struggles with a $212-million deficit. It also comes a week after Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for an additional 1,200 and 2,000 job cuts — or wage reductions for city workers — to help balance the city’s books.

The council’s 9-3 decision came after members met in closed session for several hours with City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, who cautioned that tax revenues have continued to deteriorate. Unless the city finds more revenue or costs are reduced, the budget shortfall is expected to increase to $485 million in 2010-2011.

Under the measure approved by the council, police officers and firefighters would not be exempt from possible job cuts. But a spokesman for the mayor said Villaraigosa would oppose cuts to police.

Councilman Greig Smith urged members to take quick action and said Los Angeles cannot afford to engage in the financial paralysis that has consumed state government, which has battled deficits for years.

“You cannot walk away from this thinking that it’s going to take care of itself,” Smith said.

The council’s motion faced strong objections from several council members — including Richard Alarcon, Paul Koretz and Paul Krekorian. Koretz said the 4,000 number had been “plucked out of the air” with no analysis. “I think it’s a devastating mistake,” he said.

Councilman Jose Huizar asked Santana, the city’s top financial analyst, to provide the council with a list within 20 days of the 4,000 positions that would be eliminated. “We need this information before we just use a sledgehammer and draw the gauntlet and not even know what the impact on the city will be.”

A spokesman for Villaraigosa praised the council’s vote, and said immediate action was necessary to help the city avoid insolvency.

“They clearly got the message,” said Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo. “This is entirely consistent with what he’s said for weeks. “The mayor’s been saying we need to downsize city government and live within our means. The council took action today to achieve that goal.”

Victor Gordo, an attorney for the Coalitions of L.A. City Unions, said he was disappointed by the call for more job cuts before the council fully explored a variety of proposals to increase revenue and trim expenditures.

“We are committed to finding solutions that preserve city services and city jobs,” said Gordo. The coalition represents an estimated 22,000 city workers.

-- Phil Willon and Maeve Reston at Los Angeles City Hall

Comments () | Archives (45)

It's about time!!!

The day has come. The unions and the City MUST sit down and talk. If the union leaders are serious about their membership's lives, then a wage and pension concession should be brought forward immediately. 15% wage reduction, 9% pension contribution by the employee, concessions 0n retirement health benefits, in exchange for no furloughs, layoffs and reduction of services. Failure to enact all 3 components will result in terminations, reduction of the city workforce, and reduction in services provided for the very same dollars we are currently being assessed.
The unions have consistantely said the city is balancing the budget on the backs of the unions, when in fact, it is on the backs of every angeleno....
Get it together, save you co workers jobs, and save L.A. !!!!!!!

Shame on the council for taking the easy way out, and not making real changes to the fiscal waste that goes on in city government, especially within their own offices and the mayor's especially. The council and the mayor should be the first to be laid off. Cowards!

It's time for the council to take their own cut - in pay! This council is the highest paid in the country, and they can't get their act together on anything. Why are they still being outrageously paid to sit on their you-know-whats? The city is being downgraded in credit rating while the council basks in their own version of Wall Street excess.

Unfortunately for the taxpayer, the council's decision is very late. They pondered this decision for over a year while the taxpayer slowly slid into the economic abyss. Now, the taxpayer will get less services while paying the same amount in taxes and fees. The city coalition of unions thinks it's all about them. Guess what Mr. Gordo...it's about the people of Los Angeles! Go find yourself another job!

Job less is never good. But being in debt and not being able to move forward with new plans to create new jobs is even worse. We spent beyond our means, this action will allow us to become more proactive in the future and will benefit Los Angeles and its residence in the long run.

Let's look at optimizing our medical, education, and prison budgets. Those 3 are the largest parts of California's budget. I'm sure they are not too far from being part of Los Angeles' biggest budget expenditures.

Cut overtime from law enforcements budget expenditures. There are huge overruns. My thought is, is that overtime is used as a type of bonus to law enforcement.

Can you guys try writing in English, and explaining city politics, rather than acting as stenographers and participating in city politics? Please cut through the political posturing and spin. Most readers believe a "job cut" is the same as a layoff. But clearly at LA City Hall, that's not the case -- the article says "1,000 job cuts ... are expected to lead to 250 to 350 workers receiving pink slips."

So, please: tell us what's going on, and why a job cut doesn't lead to a layoff.

Nobody...I mean nobody who works for the city wants to see their salary cut down in any way ---but it could save many jobs. The problem is that with many city jobs, the salaries are just too high (yes, that includes the council.) Things really won't change. I worked there for 5 years and saw it all around me. (no, I didn't have a big salary myself. In 1998,inside the council confines itself,I was only making $38,000 a year.)There are perks galore, government waste, and often a damn the taxpayer attitude. The unions themselves and their attitudes are an anacronism. What a shame. L.A. Politics 101.

About time! Do whatever is necessary to save this State and avoid giving in to the Unions at all cost. Council members who are beholden to the Unions should forfeit their title and resign since they have no interest in serving the citizens of LA.

A touch of sanity appears to be on the horizon in City Hall. Lets hope this is just the beginning to the house cleaning and future cost controls by the city management team. Hopefully the unions will become enablers in this process, as well, instead of their usual barrier builders.

I disagree with using the number of layoffs to determine adequate progress towards solvency.

The goal should be "we need to eliinate $500 million in wages and benefit costs per year". If that equates to 3,000, or 5,000 employee layoffs, then that's met the goal.

They keep punishing the ones who are not at fault and retaining those that are. The City will never be balanced as long as we continue to pay the elected elite the outrageous salaries they get now, in addition to their pensions! The City needs to trim from the top down, not the other way around! On "Ask the Mayor" this past Sunday, he was asked by the show's host if he and the council were going to lay off any of their staff. This question so discombobulated the dishonorable one he couldn't even answer it, which, of course, is an answer in itself.

Wot, slaying their OWN loyal toadies? Well, when besieged, BETTER to lop off as many heads as possible.....why not START WITH the Clowncil 1st?????? Gawd...am I looking forward to VOTING!!!

Hey Gringos, why dont you deport the illegals you are schooling, medicating and housing. You will have a few more pesos to do business with.

I find it funny that the fat cat union is being represented by an attorney named Gordo which I recalls means fat in Spanish, whose narrow minded, self preserving union proposals exclude trimming the fat out of our budget.

finally! thank goodness the council is finally thinking of the taxpayers instead of the unions....

It's not good news, but expected.

1) Layoff personnel a needed, asking for payroll deductions in not the American way, we are not a coummunist country where everyone is guarnteed a job. Layoff in bad times re-hire in good times and the Encomoy will swing back faster than trying to save everyones job. Without layoffs you leave the excess fat in place. You can't tell me there were jobs that have been created over the last 50 years that are not needed.

As for the Police. What boneheads at City Hall should get fired. They would be down 500 employees in that last year through retirements and a hiring freeze. It makes no sense to ask for paycuts when they should not hired new employees. Layoff from the bottom, other departments will hire them. LAPD Officers are in demand.

In the end at least 3000 layoffs will occur. Do it. Or Start with City Council and the Mayor and hire people who have the nerve to LEAD in bad times, not just the good times.

Why doesn't the city start by laying off the worst mayor in Los Angeles history? Why don't all those worthless officials take a pay cut? Didn't anyone watch the city council meetings, through out the whole televised conference, there tons of people walking around. Why does the city pay people who do absolutely NOTHING!!! Take all the police officers who sit at desk because they're injured & have them do police work or pay them what the people who are not officers get, instead of taking taking jobs from people who are not lapd officers. For the city to pay for people who are on the computer all day is a waste of tax payers money.

Finally, the City Council decided to face reality. It's too bad that it took them this long!


So far, president Barack H. Obama has spent over 1 trillion dollars on stimulus and the (official) unemployment rate remains over 10%. The L.A. Daily News said there will be no economic recovery in SO CAL in 2010. Therefore, local budget cuts must now be made. The fun and games is over. Taxes will go up in future years to pay for all Obama's failed visions of grandeur. So much for "hope". Are you having fun?

Simple if those working in the city makeing 100,000 plus dollars took a cut in pay of 7,000 per year or those on a salery of 50,000 per year take a cut in pay of 3,500 per year. Plus reduce the starting pay for police officers by 30 percent and across the board city wide. And removed the pension plan from the city and made it private. No more free lunches. You pay social security and you invest by yourself, not with the city, then the city would flourish. You may just balanced the budget. The way it is set up now, it will fail again, run the numbers, it is the only way or fail every ten to twenty five yeARS. 1. social security would gain if some citizens whom thinks,
"THEY ARE BETTER(?)" are no better then anybody else. EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW. Capich

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I am willing to take maximum work furlough and work part time just to save the city budget from insolvency, but please do not lay me off. I do not want to be just another unemployed statistic. Can you ask Pres. Obama to loan you some money, say, $500 million to keep the city aloft? Please do not destroy our only livelihood.

I get so little city services, I doubt that I will feel a difference if half of city employees were laid off.

Reply to Jose:
Sorry Joser, but the city made the mistake of hiring too many people to do one simple job. We must take extreme measures now to save the city from collapse. I am not saying that these cuts will solve everything, but we will at least be able to borrow money again. Let's hope that this time these baffons at the City Council, including the Mayor understand the meaning of the word "budget" and spend their funds wisely.

Go City Employees! Hang in there! Praying the furloughs will go away!!

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