Wednesday Dec 02 2009
Rocklin makes more job cuts
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
But pre-Thanksgiving layoff of 10 employees won’t balance budget
The city of Rocklin announced 10 new layoffs but new revenue projections may lead to more cuts as the city struggles to balance the budget. One of those workers, Greg Beauchamp worked as a mechanic for the Rocklin Fleet Services Division before receiving his pink slip and a two-week notice. “It is a bad situation but you make of it what you will,” said Beauchamp. “I refuse to be negative about it.” None of the workers got a severance but were paid for banked off time, according to the city. Beauchamp, a single father, said it was especially hard to tell his 13-year-old son about the life-changing news. “My son doesn’t understand the economic situation that we’re in,” Beauchamp said. “I explained to him that Christmas is going to be pretty bare this year.” Rocklin City Manager Carlos Urrutia signed the letter to Beauchamp explaining his job loss. Urrutia said it’s the worst part of his job. “Anytime that you are telling someone they no longer have a job, I don’t care what time of the year it is, it is very difficult news to deliver,” Urrutia said. “The city needs to deal with its financial house.” The city laid off nine in July bringing the total number of city employees from 310 to 260. Urrutia admits the cuts are not enough to balance this year’s budget with tax revenues sliding another $2 million in the last few months. “We just keep chasing the revenues down,” Urrutia said. Since the August budget hearing, city leaders have initiated numerous cost-cutting measures including early retirements, furlough Fridays, hiking recreation fees starting in 2010 and approving a measure to sell property taxes to investors as municipal bonds. “I am more concerned about what happens next year,” Urrutia said. “We could weather the storm for a while, but the problem is, how long is this storm going to last?” City staff will present new cost-cutting measures to city council at a public meeting set for 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Rocklin Police Emergency Operations Center. Urrutia said the goal has always been to find measures that lessen the impact on the city’s service to the public. “The service level is going to drop, but I am still hopeful that we will continue to deliver a good level of service to our citizens,” Urrutia said. Beauchamp said he understands why the city laid him off and thinks the city handled it well but said now he worries about moving on in an uncertain job market. “Am I going to have to do things I might not like to do? Yeah,” Beauchamp said. “I will find a way to make it. I am a survivor.” -------- City of Rocklin budget meeting What: city council meets to discuss cost-saving measures When: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15 Where: Rocklin Police Department, Emergency Operations Center, 4060 Rocklin Road, Rocklin The public is welcome to attend.