Compton leaders approve new budget -- or did they?
After a chaotic meeting full of reversals, the Compton City Council late Tuesday apparently moved to approve dozens of layoffs to avert a potential government shutdown.
Or maybe not.
The council, acting as the redevelopment commission, voted 3 to 2 to approve a budget that will eliminate about 90 jobs, then went into closed session, leaving the final council vote up in the air.
It was unclear whether all the council members realized they had not cast a final vote.
The apparent approval of the budget will avert a potential government shutdown, but the city faces lawsuits from employees' unions and individual workers over the process.
City employees in attendance were stunned.
"Actually, we don’t know what budget they just adopted," said Tony Branson, a Compton Fire Department captain and president of the firefighters’ union. "I don’t think it was fair, and I don’t think it was legal."
City officials had said that without a budget in place, all but public safety and some other essential employees would be furloughed.
-- Abby Sewell in Compton
Photo: Compton residents packed the City Hall council chambers Tuesday night to await a vote on the budget. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times