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37 Huntington Beach City Employees to Be Laid Off

Council trims $11.1 million and about 108 positions, some vacant, to cover budget gap.

July 10, 2003|Zeke Minaya | Times Staff Writer

Thirty-seven Huntington Beach city employees received layoff notices this week as the City Council slashed $11.1 million from the city's current budget.

The cuts, which included freezing or eliminating dozens of unfilled City Hall jobs, were not as deep as initially feared, however.

City leaders had warned last month that they might close two of the city's four branch libraries and relax response times for some emergency services. Neither happened.

A fire engine company staffed with paramedics was saved by making trims in other areas of the department and increasing service fees, said Fire Chief Duane Olson. Neither the fire nor police departments suffered any layoffs.

And the doors of the Main Street and Banning branch libraries will remain open, thanks to private donations.

"It's the best of a bad thing," said Ron Hayden, who heads the city's library system. "It's unfortunate that we even had to consider closing the branches."

The bulk of the savings will come via personnel moves. In all, about 108 positions will be lost. The jobs include full-time and part-time, vacant and filled positions. Huntington Beach has an annual budget of roughly $135 million. The midyear trims, made during Monday's City Council meeting, were necessary to make up for budget shortfalls.

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