The far-reaching impact of the state's decision to dissolve local redevelopment agencies could end up walloping Glendale, inflating the city's budget deficit to $15 million and forcing widespread layoffs.
In a two-page letter sent to city staff this week, City Manager Scott Ochoa mapped out the dire situation that includes the probability of layoffs in June before the start of the next fiscal year.
About half of the budget shortfall comes from the loss of redevelopment — a steady stream of incrementally higher property taxes that helped bring in the Americana at Brand and affordable housing. Redevelopment also paid for $6.6 million in staff salaries, benefits, maintenance and operations, according to a city report.
Glendale was one of nearly 400 local redevelopment agencies throughout California that were dissolved earlier this year, with the money redirected to fill the state's own budget deficit.
City officials expect to lay off 29 people from the Community Development Department, which once included redevelopment operations, but there may be even more jobs on the chopping block if various departments are restructured, Ochoa said.