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Costa Mesa leader defends sweeping layoff plans

April 16, 2011 |  4:57 pm

Tom Hatch, Costa Mesa's chief executive, laid out his justifications for outsourcing and cuts in a letter to city employees Thursday.

He said the city faced a $5-million deficit for the fiscal 2011-12 budget and that longer-term liabilities ran into the tens of millions of dollars. Those costs are for pension and retiree health obligations, capital projects for roads and alleys, technological improvements and others, his letter said.

The city's five-year plan to address these needs will "involve significant cuts to our operations and significant service level reductions," Hatch wrote. "We cannot afford the service levels we are currently providing to the community."

Examples of a municipal services reducled in tight times are street sweeping and park maintenance. City staff members are compiling a list of services that could be cut back with the least effect on residents and businesses, said William Lobdell, the city's interim communications director.

Hatch also said that the fiscal 2010-11 budget would be essentially balanced once the city fully decommissions its police helicopter program.

Read the full story: Costa Mesa city CEO explains outsourcing, cuts

-- Mike Reicher, Daily Pilot / Times Community News