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Some layoffs averted Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Dec 11 2010 12:00 PM

At the Chula Vista City Council meeting Tuesday night, 61 members of MidLevel Managers and professional employees agreed to contribute 8 percent toward their retirement as part of comprehensive pension reform.

This increases the number of employees willing to cooperate to 152 out of 952 employees, which will help alleviate some layoffs.

Projected savings are $430,000.

According to Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, members have been meeting with MidLevel Managers since September.

Chula Vista City Manager Jim Sandoval said the city is still waiting on cooperation from the police, fire, western civil engineers and the Chula Vista Employees Association, which staff is in discussions with. Each group must be on board by Jan. 7 in order to avoid next year's deficit.

Cox said she sees pension reform as a shared commitment to the city. "If every employee did this, the city would close a $12.5 million deficit for the next fiscal year," Cox said.

"When we talk about pension reform, it goes across the spectrum of the employees ... our employees for the last 15 years have not been asked to pay into their retirement investment and we're asking them now in hard economic times," Cox said. "As they come forward they are demonstrating their commitment to the residents of the city of Chula Vista."

Kirk Ammerman is the principal civil engineer for the city of Chula Vista. "We want to encourage all units to consider the hard times we are living in and the important services that are being offered to the citizens," he said.

Cox said staff is working to get to the point where they have a budget that's factored upon incoming revenues. "If we spend more than we take in, we have to cut expenses," she said.

In other City Council news, the council voted to place limits on parking cars to be sold on city street.

The item was put on the agenda Nov. 23 in response to citizen concerns involving people who were selling vehicles or otherwise conducting business on public streets. Combined with aesthetic and traffic safety concerns, the City Attorney's Office and the Chula Vista Police Department recommended adopting the ordinance to restrict the activity.

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