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.