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City of Murrieta Lays off Employees Due to Deficit

Eight full-time employees were laid off Thursday, and six part-time were let go earlier in the week, according to a city news release.

The city of Murrieta has recently reduced its workforce by 19 employees, which includes the layoff of eight full-time employees today, it was announced.

Earlier in the week, six part-time employees were let go. Additionally, the city will not fill vacancies created by five recent retirements and resignations.

The staff reductions are in an effort to balance the city's budgets in the face of state take-aways and a struggling economy, said Human Resources Director Jeff Price, in a news release.

"Despite the continued efforts by all City departments to make reductions to their budgets, it is with much regret that reductions in the workforce have become necessary to backfill this deficit," Price said. "In addition to the current 47 positions that have been frozen since July, 2011, additional reductions including part-time staff were let go early this week, and today, full-time employees were also released."

Price cited a higher-than-expected budget deficit for fiscal year 2012-2013, which begins July 1.

"As the State continues to attempt to balance its budget on the backs of local government, the City has been faced with making some very difficult decisions. 

"Over the past couple of years, the State has taken Vehicle License Fee revenues from the City and most recently, dissolved Redevelopment Agencies which combined with declining revenues, has resulted in a budget deficit of $2 million more than anticipated."

Vacancies/retirements included one from the Police Department, two from Finance, one from Public Works and one from the Community Development Department.

Part-time staff reductions included three from the Library and three from the Community Development Department/Redevelopment Agency.

Full-time staff reductions effective Thursday included one from administration, three from the Community Development Department/Redevelopment Agency, one from Finance and three from Building and Safety.

"The City of Murrieta has worked diligently to maintain a balanced budget and prides itself with quality employees that have continued to provide a high level of service to the community despite the impacts of the struggling economy and the persistent State take-aways," Price said.

According to a budget report released this week, the city's operating budget for 2012-2013 was estimated at $36.4 million, with $34.4 million in revenue expected.

Editor's Note: Please see an updated story on the city budget.

S. Howard May 22, 2012 at 03:12 AM
No matter what you guys argue about, be thankful you don't live anywhere NEAR where I came from - Shreveport, LA (the armpit of America). Every news story every day is about crooks and someone being murdered or in critical condition. I moved here because I could afford to live in a safer place - upstanding citizens in Shreveport are prime targets - and I am glad a slight (compared to the rest of the U.S.) deficit is our biggest news story! Go, Murrieta!
Mike May 22, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Major, I really do not understand your response to my post yesterday. I'm neither a shop owner nor am I unemployed. I just proposed a different opinion and you try to make it personal. Quite frankly, this is the problem in our Country right now, the inability to intelligently debate a topic without getting personal. I do not know you personally, I have no idea what you are about, however, I do disagree with you on this topic. Which, by the way is actually not the topic of the original article. I respect your opinions, however, and maybe you should try to respect others opinions as well. I really think that is what this Country is about. Respect for each other. We have lost that.
Diana Serafin May 22, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Where in the contract does it say "safe" or "safety" - it doesn't. Why is the speed limit 10 mph in the right turn lane (and not posted)? That is from Officer Frobose on tape at a city council meeting. Why is the video's tampered with before they get to court? Date,& time stamped on them. Superior court ruled them Unconstitutional. We can fight every ticket now!! We will win this battle. Too many people have gotten illegal tickets at the cameras. And now I have an attorney who is giving free advice to beat the tickets.
Mike May 22, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Major, I do understand. Do not run a red light = no traffic fine. Less red light violaters = less accidents. Drunk driver checkpoints (and I'm not about to say in my younger days I avoided them like the plague) = less drunk drivers on the road. I feel pretty safe in Murrieta versus other places I have lived. We just disagree, that's all. I appreciate your last post took the personal out of it. I respect that.
Rob June 22, 2012 at 12:31 AM
OUTSOURCE ALL OF IT! This city is near as bad as Bell. 34% made over $100K. How does a CITY CLERK earn $112,000 in a year?!?! Dir. Economic Development $150K.. they should be FIRED! 43 FIRE DEPT staff over $100K !!!!!!!!!!! 70 or so COPS earn over $100K !!!!!!!!!! Many with high school diplomas. Asst to City Manager 92K Librarian $118K INSANITY! The City is laying off 8 people but that is NOT the problem. The pay structure that allows over 34% of staff to earn over $100,000 is the problem. Having them then retire, like that stooge Police Chief Wright who sues the city, with large pensions means we pay not only for an over priced police force but pensions that add up to what, 30% of the total spent on the current force? Is it less? more?

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