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City of Chico hit with another round of layoffs

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Oct 04 2013 07:53:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 04 2013 09:26:26 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

The recent layoff of eleven City of Chico employees means thirty full-time positions have been cut since June, and while the City Manager's office hopes these will be the last, there are no guarantees.

Five people lost their jobs in the General Services Department with six more layoff from various other departments this week.

Outside of general services, one employee resigned, another was demoted and five others lost hours or were impacted in one way or another.

"At the end it's a slice of the organization from top to bottom, from a senior position all the way down to an engineering technician," said Public Works Director Ruben Martinez.

One person cut from the department had been with the city for 10 years.

"It's sad to see them go, and they've invested in the city as we the city have invested in them," Martinez said. "And they have a lot of institutional knowledge about how things work so it's going to be difficult to bridge those gaps initially but we have sketched out some plans already to do that."

The cuts come after Chico officials found the Capital Projects Fund just wasn't balancing out--to the tune of about $2.5 million.

Assistant City Manager Mark Orme said the bulk of the cuts simply had to come from the General Services Department.

"Once we found that we will come in at the end of the year expending more than we actually have revenue coming in, it was this fund that was impacted by this cutback," Orme said.

Martinez said he and his senior staff are trying to shift work loads and find new ways of getting the work done with fewer hands.

"We know that we're going to have to bridge some gaps," he said. "We're looking at some outside contracts to help us do that but we're also looking at it from a long term perspective. To be able to expand and contract as demand for our services occurs."

Orme says the city is working to ensure tough situations like this can be avoided in the future, but for now they will just have to keep rolling with the punches.

"When unfortunate news like this comes upon us we have to do the responsible thing for the community and the public," says Orme. "And I hope, absolutely, that this is it, however I can't guarantee that."