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Costa Mesa moves to lay off nearly half its employees

March 17, 2011 |  8:59 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a7ff64ab970b-500wi

About 213 Costa Mesa employees -- nearly half of the city's workforce -- can expect layoff notices on Thursday, officials said.

More than 90 firefighters, 50 city maintenance workers, 30 dispatchers and a dozen city jail staff are among those being notified that their jobs will be outsourced in six months.

"Basically, the morale is in an all-time bottom," said Helen Nenadal, president of the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn., which will bear the brunt of cuts. "I've been with the city for 30 years and morale has never been this low."

In a 4-to-1 vote March 1, the City Council approved outsourcing 18 city services, with Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissenting. Leece tried to reopen the issue for discussion at Tuesday's council meeting but fell short when no other council members supported the move.

"I've said this before and I'll say it again, the world runs on a clock and a calendar," Councilman Jim Righeimer said at Tuesday's council session. "We have to have a budget ready by July 1. We have a $10-million to $15-million hole to fix."

Read the full report here.

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-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Photo: A view of Costa Mesa's arts district. Credit: Los Angeles TImes

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