By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Six employees, five full-time and one part-time, of the City of Stanton have been laid off as of Wednesday, July 13.
According to Carol Jacobs, city manager, the decision to cut the employees did not come easily.
“Last week was the most difficult week of my professional career,” said Jacobs, “The lay offs do not cure the deficit, but they reduce the deficit. Our plan is to push how long we can make a the money last.”
At present Stanton is facing a $3 million deficit as a result of the flailing economy . This is matched with growing costs, much of it in fire and police contracts through Orange County Fire Authority and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“We have about a $3 million structural deficit. The basic cause of that is the economy. The economy has reduced our sales tax, motor vehicle licensing tax and property tax,” said Jacobs.
The cuts alleviate about half a million from the budget on a permanent basis. Although another option was implementing furloughs, the overall cost of those furloughs would take away 17 percent of all personnel salaries temporarily.
“We felt that furloughs would eventually bring down morale to a point that this [city of Stanton] would be a very unpleasant place to be and to work,” said Jacobs, “so the council decided to resize the organization and keep the remaining staff at full salary. It was a heated and painful decision for the council . . . the employees said that they didn’t want layoffs. The council took that really seriously and they did not come to that decision lightly.”
At the last city council meeting, where the council met in closed session to discuss the options, many city employees spoke regarding layoffs.
“I think our employees were passionate, well versed and I think they spoke from the heart . . . I was really proud of them. It was hard to watch them in that much pain,” said Jacobs.