City governments begin reducing staffs to address budget deficits

City governments begin reducing staffs to address budget deficits

Olivia Sandusky

La Quinta City Council votes to reduce their staff by 20 percent to address their current budget deficit.

“The executive team and city manager really look at areas that will not impact that level of service that our residents and our businesses have come to expect in La Quinta,” said Mayor Evans of La Quinta.

The community resources and public works teams have the most layoffs for the city, meaning places like their wellness center will offer fewer programs.

Both La Quinta and Palm Desert are facing rising costs from their contract with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

“They imposed a 7.5 percent increase and that simply is not sustainable for us in the long term to get the same amount of service and pay that much more for it, but with that we’ve been able to analyze the police services contract and make adjustments,” said Mayor Evans.

That includes reducing patrol hours for certain officers, but using community service officers in a larger capacity, which Mayor Evans says will maintain the same level of community safety.

In Palm Springs, the council says they’ll have 82 less city government employees than they did last year.

“We won’t be doing any street resurfacing this year, we’re going to defer that, now luckily we’ve been able to do a significant amount of that over the last five years. Some facilities may be open a few less hours a week than they are,” said David Ready, Palm Springs city manager.

And while the Palm Springs police and fire departments are also impacted, Ready says no uniformed employees have been laid off.

“The lay offs in those particular departments currently they are the administrative civilian type personal, but of course obviously our goal is to keep as many uniformed officers in both police and fire that we can,” said Ready.