By Brittany HansonGarden Grove Journal
Furloughs or layoffs may be in the future for Stanton city employees.
Tuesday’s regular city council meeting was preceded by a closed session in which a decision was apparently reached to cut personnel costs in reaction to budget shortfalls.
As of Tuesday night, the council’s decision wasn’t made available to the public or the press.
A public announcement of the specifics was set for Wednesday afternoon, however (after our print deadline).
City attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow said only that the city manager was to implement and confer with employees on the plan to further the decisions made in the closed session.
Prior to the closed session, city workers and residents came to City Hall to make public statements about their objection to the idea of layoffs.
Long-time resident Nancy Heitman said she believed that the future would hold layoffs.
They [city staff and council] have to decide on how to handle the deficit,” said Heitman, “It’s not easy. A lot of people spoke and most of them and the residents are in favor of furloughs.”
Al Ethans, council member, said, “There were no comments to the public speakers by the council. They [residents and employees] spoke elegantly, with tears and sadness.
“These people, these are people I know, I consider family. I know them by name, most of them. It’s going to have to be something that the city is going to have to do to continue in a direction to stay solvent.”
Ethans said that unfortunately he could not speak about the closed session decision for two days.
“This is hard times for all the cities,” said Ethans.
The discussion of furloughs (which are basically unpaid days off) and layoffs comes after Stanton’s re-arrangement of pension funds and a serious re-assessment of projected deficit in future budget years.
“It’s a great city to live in,” commented Heitman, “and a lot of that is because of the council and staff here, but these are difficult times for all of us.”