Analyst: 1,700 Layoffs Needed to Close LA Budget Gap

The Los Angeles City Council's chief legislative analyst Tuesday recommended eliminating more than 1,700 positions to help close a projected $492 million deficit in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Councilman Bernard Parks, who chairs the council's Budget and Finance Committee, said the "bulk" of those positions are currently occupied by city employees who would be issued pink slips unless alternative solutions are found to close the budget gap.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's original plan called for laying off about 750 employees and forcing thousands of others to take up to 26 furlough days.

Parks said those calculations were based on revenue projections that were "too ambitious."

After adjustments were made by the Budget and Finance Committee, the $492 million deficit in the proposed budget grew by another $93 million.

To compensate, Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller recommended eliminating 1,761 positions.

"This is 1,000 more positions than was proposed by the mayor, which are necessitated by the reduction in revenues and need to fund some of the obligatory increases that became apparent throughout the committee hearings," he said.

"Absent mitigating measures such as wage concessions, further reductions in the work week, additional revenues and/or other expenditure changes, position eliminations and layoffs will be implemented."

Furloughs will result in the equivalent of another 1,000 positions being vacant, Miller said.

Over the last several months, the city has issued pink slips to 100 city employees, transferred nearly 500 others to proprietary departments, and granted early retirement to 2,400 city workers.

"Clearly, services to the public and city employees have been severely impacted by reductions to date, and the 2010-2011 budget will continue and expand those impacts," Miller said.

"While we recognize that city employees have already sacrificed a great deal as a result of the city's fiscal situation, it must be noted that many, if not all, of the service reductions could be mitigated by reductions in the city's payroll through wage concessions, additional contributions to health care and pensions and other potential on-going actions," he said.

Miller also recommended the "virtual elimination" of cash overtime for police officers, and the continuation of the Modified Coverage Plan, which takes several fire trucks and ambulances out of service.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us