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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.

Mike May 19, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Amen! I'm so tired of hearing about how bad the red light cameras are. I live across from the one at Murrieta Hot Springs and Whitewood and I can tell you that there are less accidents than there were before the cameras were installed.
Leggs diamond May 19, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Get rid of the city mgr and his assistants Does anyone know exactly what they make And close the code enforcement dept What a waste of money there
Oldtimer Lu May 19, 2012 at 05:12 AM
wow ! $240,000 for City Manager. I'm sorry, call me dumb,I guess I don't know what it is that a City manager does to deserve a salary like that. Anybody want to reply?
R.W. May 19, 2012 at 07:48 AM
More incorrect information from Serafin; no surprise, she is consistently incorrect and/or deceptive. The cameras, whether you are for them or against them, are basically cost neutral. If you have attended any council meetings where the subject has been discussed at length, you know that the city of Murrieta nets just a few thousand dollars per year after the costs associated with administering the program.
R.W. May 19, 2012 at 07:54 AM
So, you want these people to hurt because you are hurting? You want more skilled people in your community to be unemployed, and now competing for the same scarce supply of jobs for which you are competing? Seems illogical.
R.W. May 19, 2012 at 07:58 AM
They are not supposed to make the city money, they a supposed to make the city safer.
R.W. May 19, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Oh yeh, brilliant, lose code enforcement. Drive through Wildomar and see what little to no code enforcement makes a city look like; dead lawns, weeds in the sidewalks, crap cars parked everywhere, trash cans left in the street seven days a week.
R.W. May 19, 2012 at 08:05 AM
Major's comment proves that the educations system in this country is deficient. Critical thinking is a dying American skill set.
Diana Serafin May 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM
You need to do a freedom of information request. The cameras do not pay for themselves. The cameras would need to produce 7760 tickets to break even. Please watch this long video from a city council meeting on cameras. I too was in a serious t-bone and am lucky to be alive. A camera does ot stop a drunk driver or someone texting. And why should we pay Goldman Sachs more money. Goldman Sachs did not invest in camera companies for safety but to make money. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22100088
Diana Serafin May 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Cathy you need to do some homework on the Cameras. The contract says nothing about safety! They are not about safety, they are about making money for Goldman Sachs and the Camera companies. Watch this video and you will learn alot about the scam on taxpayers. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22100088 The cameras would have to produce 7760 tickets to break even. By the way can a camera stop a drunk or someone texting from running a red light? It is a waste of our money.
Diana Serafin May 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM
We did a FOI request and got the dollar amounts from the city. I have people from Chicago, and Washington DC calling me and giving me information. Also I have two attorneys helping me with the camera details. One is even giving free advice on how to beat the UNCONSTITUTIONAL tickets. I have my facts, people who think they are about safety are drining the kool-aid.
Diana Serafin May 19, 2012 at 11:59 AM
You said it perfect Major. We are losing our freedoms and Constitutional rights. I am fighting for our children and grandchildren's future.
Tina May 19, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Diana, You should really check your facts before posting them if you really want people to believe anything you are saying. Where do you get 7760 citations a year to break even? The $30 per ticket revenue you refer to is AFTER the cameras are paid for. It was an artice from the Press Enterprise. Here is the article for you: http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/murrieta/murrieta-headlines-index/20110131-murrietas-red-light-cameras-will-boost-charities.ece Here is the same information on the SWRNN website: http://www.swrnn.com/2011/01/18/murrieta-council-approves-expansion-of-red-light-cameras-within-city/ Even the Freedom of Information Document that you referenced from the red light camera website you have talked about before says that the city MADE $18,149 annually AFTER all expenses, from 2006-2010. Did you see that information? If you want people to support your postion, present accurate information, not numbers here and there that have no factual value at all.
Cat Burke May 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Maybe the City of Murrieta should pursue reimbursement from Mr. & Mrs. Simpson for the money spent on the manhunt for their son, after he murdered Saskia Burke, because they knew where he was the entire time... I'll bet the money spent in those 4 days would pay someone's entire salary for the year!
John Gregory May 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM
The entire budget deficit which has led city hall to take these measures stems from the ridiculous decisions that our post-recalled city council made about 4 years ago. They gave the Police a 24% raise. Of course the city council will blame the state for all of our budget misfortunes so that lessens their involvement in the budget crisis. Police are still wanting their 6% raise over the next year. City hall receiving layoffs and cuts while the PD gets a raise. We need to take a stand on the corruption that is really taking place in our city council decision making process. Just the other day, there was a bomb scare at one of our local Starbucks. Our illustrious PD had to call in the county bomb squad to take care of the situation. Doesn't this tell you something, why do we need a city police force when we don't have the necessary resources to take care of a situation like this? It's time for the city PD to contract with the county. They have more available resources and it works well for the City of Temecula who now have a safer city than us and the cost to run their PD is HALF of what we pay. I'm sure there were some good employees let go the other day and not sure how much more city hall staff can take away. The services for the city will be extremely lessened if this happens again. Without city hall, there will be no city for the cops to protect. Please let's force the PD to go contract because without doing this, the city will for sure go bankrupt.....
John Gregory May 20, 2012 at 06:09 PM
When reading the salaries on the webpage, please refer to what they really make with overtime. They totally abuse the system and in fire's case, they are sleeping half of the time. The average for Police is $100K and the average for Fire is $140K while the cityhall average salary is $68K. Refering to the city manager's salary, his salary is by far lower than any other city manager in the region based on city population size. At one time the Police Chief made more than the city manager.
John Gregory May 20, 2012 at 06:13 PM
True, there are those city employees that work there to abuse the system but then there are those that work there that truly want the city to succeed and do the best they can. This happens in either public or private industries, the American people need to go back and look at our work ethics - there should be accountability, consideration, commitment and best practices.
Mike May 20, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Diana, please, please do not equate your "battle" against red camera lights, which have proven to be very effective at cutting down traffic accidents and the future of our country. Quite frankly, my guess is you got a red light ticket and it made you mad. Get over it and do not run red lights anymore. The rest of us do have a (from another little document you may have heard of, the Declaration of Independence) right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The life part means that idiots who run red lights should get tickets so they will not do it again and risk their life as well as the lives of the rest of us.
rsocpl May 20, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Are you mad John? I know you didn't just say contract with RSO. The reason Temecula climbed the safest city chart is because a lot of crimes in Temecula don't make the stat list because Deputies refuse to take a lot of reports or the citizens are tired of waiting 3 plus hours for a Deputy to show up so they cancel the call. And contracts are cheap the first year and sky rocket after that because they know they got you at that point because the cost of restarting your own PD again is beyond reach. And there is only one bomb squad in the whole county, Riverside PD, Corona PD, Palm Springs PD and everyone else that is a city PD uses them. NYC used the National Guard after 9/11 so is NYPD inadequate and should NYC go to a county or state police? Most ridiculous comment I've ever seen on this post, you must be a Deputy much like the past mayor of Hemet, Jerry Franchville, that tried to kill that city PD so he would look good to his bosses for getting Hemet to contract with them, but the residents knew better and refused to do so. Oh and by the way, I remember reading that the past city council gave the police a 6% raise but they aren't taking it because I think even they know it isn't right taking that raise in this economy. That 6% raise was supposed to take effect a year ago but never happened because even though it was in their contract, they told the city to keep it. HAHA, go county, still makes me chuckle.....
rsocpl May 20, 2012 at 09:05 PM
John Gregory, I believe John Q. Public stated that the change that is needed is the overtime paid and he also mentioned there needs to be an administration fix as in admin salaries. Administration is the ones that approve the overtime. Seems to me you are out here trolling, either you work for the city or are scorned somehow because of public employees. You seem to only read what you want to read even thought John Public stated exactly what you did, but you felt the need to repeat I guess.
Mike May 20, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Yes, Major, I am a fan of Red Light Cameras, especially when they save lives as well as expenses from idiots who run lights and cause accidents. I don't have a problem with them. I also do have not problem with CE, I call them quite frequently to keep people from blocking sidewalks with their cars. I do this so children can enjoy walking through our neighborhood without having to run the risk of being hit by a car while walking around a car blocking sidewalks because someone feels it is their right to block sidewalks with their car.
John Gregory May 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM
For rsocpl So you must be a corporal at the county. You're right about officers not reporting correctly which misleads the true amount of crimes. Murrieta officers do this also. You could work for Murrieta. I guarantee that Murrieta PD is getting their raise. To go county will reduce the PD's expenditures in half which would save millions for the citizens.
Rob May 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Murrieta is Govt speak for City of Bell. 35% of all city workers, likely a higher number after the lay-offs, make over $100,000. The Chief and 2 captians made over $200K in the last published data. The city clerk and Librarian made over $100K. The bank it with OT - Have you seen the Murrieta PD OT costs?!?!? $1,887,144 in 2009. If we put every single officer at MAX pay, they still earned 23.22% more. This is all public detail. I can not believe people are not up in arms circling City Hall (did we really need that building?!) http://lgcr.sco.ca.gov/CompensationDetail.aspx?entity=City&id=11983357300 THe NC times acalled out Murrieta a few years ago. Compar us to Temecula!!!! WAKE UP. ALL of these folks should be recalled. OVER 30% of Murrieta City staff make over .... $100,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/murrieta/article_96628400-f010-5b80-b597-e9eb957e79d5.html "397 people Murrieta employed for at least part of 2010, 137 earned more than $100,000, records obtained by The Californian show. Of those, 123 were members of the city's police and fire departments." Red light cameras = SCAM. Compare Murrieta to Loma Linda. Coincidence Wright left?! I say NO!. Chief here, house in Hermosa Beach....$250K/year to be police chief... IN MURRIETA! The biggest crook headed up .... the police dept! (They he SUES for MORE money... and won!)
Johnny May 21, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Dear John, You are a fool to think the RSO deputies could do the job that our PD does. The only reason Temecula was rated safer is because they under reported their rapes (actually had over 20 and reported 3). The reason Murrieta is so safe is because the officers care about us and keeping the criminals in prison. Many of the officers live right here in Murrieta. They do this because they know it is safe and they work harder to keep it that way. Be careful what you ask for, I guarantee it would be far worse with deputies working here. Also, the RSO bomb squad will go into any city to handle a bomb and they do it for free. You can thank the Sheriff for that, but you don't want them patroling Murrieta city streets.
John Gregory May 21, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Dear Johnny, you'd be a complete fool if you think all Murrieta officers do this to truly protect the city or do that work here to load their wallets. I will take that chance with Riverside deputy's for half the price. Overtime is a major issue also.
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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