L.A. Council delays layoffs for six months -- again
The Los Angeles City Council has once again found a way to forestall layoffs, voting Friday to avoid nearly 100 job cuts scheduled for Dec. 31.
Most of the jobs targeted for layoffs were civilian clerk positions in the Los Angeles Police Department. Earlier this month, officials in that department said they had found the roughly $3 million necessary to keep the employees because more police officers than expected had retired in recent months, generating savings.
The council’s vote means the clerk positions will be safe until at least July 1, when the next fiscal year begins. Council members say they may be able to avoid the layoffs for good if voters approve a half-cent sales tax on the March ballot, which would generate more than $200 million for the city.
The layoffs were first proposed last spring by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In his budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, Villaraigosa called for 159 clerk and secretarial workers to be cut from the Police Department last July 1.
Opponents, who said the layoffs would force sworn police officers to do desk jobs, protested loudly. Facing pressure from city employee unions, the council put off the layoffs for six months, crediting a last-minute discovery of new tax revenue.
In the ensuing months, the 159 layoffs first proposed shrank to 93, as some employees in the targeted positions either left the city or moved to other departments.
-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall