Unions urge revisions to budget proposal
Layoffs, furloughs, and cutbacks loom
COMPTON, Calif.—A number of ideas were bounced around Tuesday at the Compton City Council meeting regarding the budget, which the Council postponed voting on until next week’s council meeting.
After listening to the frustration of the public, the mayor suggested that rather than complaining about the budget, which has been presented by the city manager, people should take it upon themselves to come up with alternative solutions to balancing it.
Compton is facing a projected $25 million shortfall.
Members of the community, specifically the unions, were frustrated with the fact that all of the proposed budget revisions put forth by the council included employee layoffs.
The Compton Coalition of Unions said it prepared a proposal that they believe will save the city $6.7 million and would eliminate the need for the 91 layoffs proposed by city manager Willie Norfleet; they are hoping to have a sit-down with him in order to save jobs.
“Our next step is to get a meeting with the city manager, and we would like to have him incorporate our suggestions into the budget. If he does this, there won’t have to be any layoffs. We have to convince him that our way is the best way, because right now it seems like he isn’t even interested in preventing the layoffs; he has his budget and he is sticking to it.
“We need to do whatever we can to preserve city services and prevent these layoffs. We don’t want to further devastate the city, and with the unemployment rate at 19.6 percent already, why would we add to that? If the city manager incorporates our ideas into the budget, we will gladly get behind him and push to pass it,” said Rose Downs a 20-year employee and longtime resident of the city.
The Compton City Council passed a budget at its Tuesday meeting that officials said avoids a government shutdown but that is expected to result in layoffs.
The city council voted 3-1 to approve the budget, with Janna Zurita, Lillie Dobson, and Mayor Eric Perrodin voting “yes,” and Yvonne Arceneaux casting the only “no” vote. Willie O. Jones, was absent.
The majority of the viewing public was upset with the outcome, and many yelled and stormed out of the meeting.
The Coalition of Compton Unions, which represents about 400 city employees, filed unfair labor practice charges with the California Public Employment Relations Board against the city of Compton in response to the City Council’s approval of a budget that called for worker layoffs and unilaterally imposed concessions on the remaining work force.
With revenue projections in jeopardy, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana recommended another round of budget cuts recently, including additional furloughs which could shut down certain departments for one day each week over the next six months, and also the possible suspension of police hiring.
Sports media giant ESPN gave some of its 7,000 employees pink slips on Tuesday, the network said in a statement.
The Bristol, Connecticut-based company said it was looking at the financial bottom line.
“We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive,” the statement said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — After two years of hearing pitches from the two mayoral candidates left standing, Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles voters will finally decide today who will succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
But despite a multitude of debates and public appearances, the record amount of money spent on mailers and television, radio and other ads to woo voters, election turnout could prove stubbornly low.