The cutbacks are necessary because the escalating costs of providing pensions for police, firefighters and other unionized employees are draining the city’s revenue, city leaders say.
Within three years, city projections show, more than one of every five tax dollars will be spent on employees’ retirement benefits, which were made far more generous in the years before the stock market crashed in 2008.
“Just do the math — this is unsustainable,” said Jim Righeimer, the city’s recently elected mayor pro tem. He campaigned on the pension issue, eliciting anger and a counter-campaign from the city’s police and firefighters. “Under these kinds of burdens, we can’t do everything the city needs to do.”
Monday, March 21, 2011
California town lays off half its workforce
Arithmetic holds Costa Mesa accountable: