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Mayor Orders City to Proceed With Layoffs

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A day after the City Council delayed making a decision on whether to cut 1,000 jobs, Mayor Villaraigosa just sent out a press release indicating that he's ordering those city layoffs. Is he one-upping the City Council and making them look like wimps or was this the plan along, that the Mayor would step in to order the layoffs? We don't know! But perhaps this means the city won't be filing for bankruptcy. Via the Inbox: "Mayor Orders Immediate Steps Be Taken to Address $212 Million Deficit". And the press release: "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took immediate action today to balance the Los Angeles city budget and commit the City to long-term fiscal health and sustainability. Using the authority invested in the Office of the Mayor by the City Charter, Villaraigosa directed the Personnel Department to eliminate 1,000 general fund positions and begin calculating layoffs, displacement seniority, and/or transfers of employees to fill these targeted positions." UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times has the story.

“Every budget is a balancing act,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “We
have been living beyond our means and now we have difficult choices to
make. Each day we fail to act we lose an estimated $300,000. We must
protect our fiscal health and economic future.”

Yesterday, the City Council postponed decision-making on plans to
address the budget shortfall. In doing so, they added an estimated $4
million to the deficit for this fiscal year, already calculated at $212

In addition to directing the layoffs and transferring as many general
funded employees as possible into special funded and proprietary
departments, the Mayor has asked the Council to adopt an ordinance that
would allow City employees to retire without the 30 to 60 day advance
application typically required. The Mayor is also requesting that the
Council move their uncommitted funds — currently totaling up to $40
million — into the City’s Reserve Fund until such time that the fund
reaches 5% of the overall budget.

“I do not relish these decisions, but neither will I shy away from
them or pretend they don’t exist,” the Mayor said. “Angelenos all
over our City are making tougher choices between food or their
prescription drugs, between school supplies and a doctor’s visit for
their child, or between their electric bill and their rent. It is time
that we at City Hall follow their lead, set priorities, and make the
tough choices necessary to protect our core responsibilities.”

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