By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Seeking to close a budget gap estimated at $1.8 million, Stanton is seeking to reduce costs (and services) connected with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which provides law enforcement, and the Orange County Fire Authority, which operates firefighting and paramedic services.
Together, the protective services take up about 80 percent of the municipal budget.
Last week, an Orange County Fire Authority group voted 9-1 to approve cuts of $695,748 for Stanton, according to Mayor Pro Tem David Shawver.
“This is going to look like one paramedic truck and nine firefighters,” he said. “This is going to the board of directors on July 25. If the majority of the board approves it, then it will go forward.”
Stanton’s police services are trying to come to an agreement between the city and OCSD, and must come up with the cuts by the end of the month.
“The safety of the residents of Stanton is our primary concern and the OCSD has worked diligently with the city providing the requested recommendations for reduced service,” said Lt. Jeff Passalaqua in a prepared statement.
“We will continue to negotiate in good faith, attempting to reach a resolution. The total current total suggested reduction is nearly $640,000 bringing down the cost of the current proposed contract by 7.6 percent.
At the city of Stanton’s request the OCSD has identified a $637,653 reduction to the annual public safety contract, reducing it from $8.4 million to $7.8 million.”
But that’s not enough: Stanton wants to take nearly double that to stay away from red ink. City officials have suggested that if the OCSD can’t reduce enough, Stanton may end up contracting with another city for police services.
Negotiations continue with a deadline of the end of July. “If we can get through this, we can have a balanced budget,” said Shawver. “We’re going to make it.”