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Costa Mesa moves to lay off nearly half its employees


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

Comments () | Archives (14)

As the song goes: its the end of the world as we know it. If you think that Obama or anybody else is going to fix the problems we face today, you are a fool.

My job was outsourced, though I was hired by the outsourcing company. I took a slight cut in pay, but I honestly would have taken a huge cut in pay to have stayed an employee instead of becoming a contractor.

Have they thought about offering pay cuts to all to keep more people? Layoffs are just terrible.

Liberals are eventually going to have to choose whether they want to support funding bloated government pensions and salaries or whether they want to advance the social causes they constantly talk about. They can't have both. Politicians who made these promises to public sector workers knowing they can't be fulfilled should be prosecuted and imprisoned.

Just a sign of the times. Many more cities will follow suit. The Nation, state and cities are broke. What do they have in common? Huge budgets with dwindling resources. You can't spend what you don't have. Nothing in life is free, some must pay for everything. Unless, of course, you're an illegal alien working under the table. Then the gringos are picking up the tab for you.

For a resident in this city to pay the taxes we pay, it seems that the homeless and providing food/medical and daily functions for them is the main purpose for our tax dollars. There are so many homeless in our public parks and public places and taking up our public servants time, that to go and enjoy what our taxes pay for is too fraught with having to put up with the public drinking,urinating,drug use, and general gathering of this community of people in our city. We keep providing all the services they require on a daily basis, but our being safe and having our needs met in a timely manner has taken a back burner position due to the public servant layoffs in the past year and continue to happen. Outsourcing to people who have no interest in our community, other than a job, will lead to yet bigger problems.

We need to learn from Wisconsin... We have to make that same choice..

Greedy government workers ate everything in the trough and can now stop working and live off the bloated pensions corrupt Democrats gave them. They are not done draining the productive people, these looters and moochers will now get paid for nothing.

I think the layoffs are totally appropriate, but why does every state agency and municipality always exempt law enforcement personnel from any shared sacrifice? Yes, local police officers are community heros and we all love them - but we sure would love them more at a lower (more reasonable) salary, commensurate with supply-and-demand for their labor. With hordes of young people lining up each year for police officer jobs, surely we could cut their salary and still preserve a healthy stream of qualified applicants.

i just watched the donald trump "roast". it was a scream! when donald finally came up to speak, he reminded everyone he was worth 7 billion. the point is, in our times a single person can not comprehend the consequences of his wealth. if our democracy works then many unemployed fire fighters will see that the cost of living is almost unlivable and not getting better. in fact more and more wealth is acquired by the wrong guy.

Seems like the days of bloated governments are gonna come to a shrieking halt. Doesn't mean doom, all it means is that as citizens we will have to contribute more (not necessarily monetary). May be a good thing, it will bring the community together. It could make Costa Mesa a better place.

Outsourcing just means there will be a middle man extracting profit from the town and the people who do the actual work

The contractor will offer a good price at first, then after a while it'll inch back up to what the town was paying before, except the worker will be getting paid less.

The wars and wall street crime have killed the nation.
Oil and insurance companies are still sucking on the corpse.

As we continue to subject public safety workers to the budget ax, I hope those that find it easy to sacrifice police and firefighter jobs are also willing to sacrifice all the other things that go with a tenured workforce. I'm all for looking at ways to reform future pensions and salaries, however, let us not forget that the reason pensions and salaries were buffeted over the years is because firefighters and police officers not long ago could hardly afford to put food on their tables, live in the places that they proudly serve, or deal with the increased costs of raising children. All that-while risking their lives for the public. Many were turning to other occupations and agencies, which resulted in massive turnover. In order to compete with the private sector for candidates, unions began negotiating for better conditions and pay. So you want lower paid cops and firefighters? You'll no doubt get one that will stay until a better paying agency hires him/her. The result? Less experienced cops and firefighters.

So when the economy does get better (and it will) and all the Wall Street "fat cats" that helped to create this crisis in the first place, start getting fat again, I hope you remember your manpower anemic, lowly paid police and fire departments that you voted for, and the people that risk their lives everyday for you and I. They'll be the agency with the street cops with less than a couple years on the job and the local fire station with fire captains' managing Japan-like crisis situations who haven't been around long enough to know what to do in an earthquake, let alone know what one is!

I would like to know the mean yearly income of Costa Mesa and the yearly income of the average public service union member in Costa Mesa Thanks


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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