YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollections

Council approves layoffs, cuts to balance budget

Balance is achieved through cuts, layoffs and fee increases for public services.

June 29, 2011|By Melanie Hicken,

The City Council on Tuesday voted to axe $4.6 million in city services, raise fees for public services and lay off eight employees to balance the budget.

The move came after months of wrangling at City Hall regarding a projected $18-million shortfall in the $170-million General Fund, which pays for basic public services like police, firefighters and libraries.

Having already shaved more than 100 vacant positions in recent years, the new budget eliminates dozens more, leaving eight full-time employees with pink slips. The layoffs include a park naturalist, a public education coordinator for the Fire Department, and others who work in parks, public works, finance and GTV6, the city’s cable TV channel.


The budget cuts also could affect hourly workers, who would not be eligible for severance pay.

More than half the cuts come from the Public Works and Community Services & Parks departments, which will be forced to eliminate a range of family events, outings for local seniors and the city’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony.

Protests from residents saved two library branches from the chopping block, although one would have been transformed into a community center and potential revenue generator.

Open-space programming at Deukmejian Wilderness Park and funding for the day laborer work center across from the Home Depot on San Fernando Road also was eliminated in the 2011-12 budget.

“This is the end of a very long budget journey,” Finance Director Bob Elliot said.

Also included in the budget is a range of new fees for city services, from animal licenses to permits, that city officials project will raise $1.3 million in the coming year.

“This is a prudent budget,” said Councilman Ara Najarian. “It is a responsible budget and most importantly it is a balanced budget.”

But even with the cuts, City Manager Jim Starbird has warned that the budget’s balance is precarious, since it relies on $3 million in savings from employee salary and benefit concessions — much of which has yet to materialize as city officials continue closed-door negotiations with the city’s employee unions.

The budget also relies on another $3 million in savings from a hiring freeze in place since 2009.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles