Santa Barbara plans to lay off 400 city employees

March 29, 2020

Santa Barbara administrators are in the process of laying off approximately 400 employees because of the coronavirus health emergency. On Friday, the city sent out the first wave of layoff notices.

The city is expecting a 25 percent reduction in revenue because of decreases in hotel bed tax and sales tax revenues. At the same time, the city needs to pay for essential services, including utilities, police and fire.

Employees likely to be laid off include parking lot attendants, library employees, after school activity staffers, and park and recreation employees. In addition, lifeguards and other temporary summer employees will not be hired at this time.

The city hopes to rehire many of the laid off workers in the future.


This is going to happen at every level of Gov,

The $209.1 billion spending plan includes $144.2 billion from the state’s General Fund, $59.5 billion from special funds, and $5.4 billion in bond funds. Looking forward, the budget assumes economic growth will slow, projecting revenue increases of about 3% per year for the next three years.


Won’t cost as much as the bloated geriatric infestation in the USA abandoned by their kids. Sick old people burden medical, social security and any other social program with their negligence and Ill health. I bet the lazy geriatrics here with crap behavior and diet will hate these comments. Type 2 laziness?

Jorge Estrada

EVERY other city, county, State and Feds will do the same. They have needed this for a long time and will retool for less money and re-negotiate the pensions too, for everyone.


There you go again Jorge, “pensions, pensions, pensions…”

Hey, how about this idea, We contract out highway construction and maintenance to the Chinese? Probably be a lot cheaper, we could do away with pensions all together then! Would that make you happy? Probably do the same with Army Corp of Engineers too since they receive defined benefit pensions. Why stop there, police, fire, hell everyone.

And when the economy bounces back like gangbusters, like many believe will happen, nobody in their right mind would willingly go to work for Caltrans or any govt. agency. And when you can’t get home due to congestion, accidents, or poor maintenance, you can talk to the head office in Shanghai or wherever.

You get what you pay for Jorge and contrary to rumor most government employees, especially those on the front lines, are not pulling down the big bucks.

Those damn pensions…

mary margaret

Is SLO doing anything? City offices closed, employees paid to ‘work at home’ or behind closed doors. There was a lack of transparency before. Imagine what’s going on now.

They have a bloated staff and salaries with way too many over-paid administrators. We’re in debt up to our eyeballs! Aren’t we over $150,000,000 in debt? Mayor and council should at least cancel the big fat raises they gave themselves.

Follow Santa Barbara’s example and employees can get unemployment. It’s a bloated, over paid, bureaucracy. Essential services like police, fire, public works,health dept. etc are really all we need.The Chamber of Commerce really runs the city with many former employees placed in influential positions at City Hall. We do not need them. Look what this unhealthy alliance has turned our city into!


This is pretty normal activity …The people that are laid off will receive more money not working due to the multiple agency unemployment being offered to layed off workers plus there 1200.00 minimum stimulus .I would say most lower payed city employees live in Lompoc or Santa Maria and east of Santa Barbara heading towards Maricopa where it is more affordable .There is quite a few Santa Barbara employees that live in 5 cities area and commute .They are probably mid and upper pay level employees though. I have seen for many years with small manufacturing companies around 30 to 50 employees regularly lay off workers .. The workers get unemployment compensation then 6 months later same workers hired back .. Just like construction workers when it rains or project gaps construction workers receive unemployment compensation off and on throughout the year every year even union construction workers receive same unemployment benefits


They need to get used to doing more with less like the rest of us in the private sector.

Maybe the remaining government workers will have a better appreciation now for the productive taxpayers who keep them clothed and fed…but don’t hold your breath.

State and local governments will likely try to squeeze blood out of a turnip and attempt to raise taxes, as usual. The SEIU will trot out more shopworn “soak the rich” tripe while what’s left of the middle class continues to flee the state.


Tip of the iceberg. “25% in reduction of revenue” will soon become 50% or 75%. Another month of social distancing will permanently close many small businesses. Anyone who has ever owned a small business will know that they account for a large amount of local tax revenue. In other words, this is a catastrophe on all levels, far surpassing anything we experienced in 2008.


Yes, the economic toll will be huge. If I owned something like a restaurant, I don’t think I’d even wait. Close it, hope and pray you can re-open again someday.


How sad…..Santa Barbara is that unprepared financially?….


“At the same time, the city needs to pay for essential services, including utilities, police and fire”, funny no mention of the biggest “essential service”, pensions that aren’t being cut. No surprise that of all the employees to be laid off not a single mention of any upper management or administrators.


Typical local gov’t response, fire lowly paid & part-timers – generate big layoff number (400 OMG!) & community sympathy. BUT upper level managers, city administration big wigs making outrageous salaries and benefits, naww, they are waayyy to important. I call BS.


Good point, didn’t Arnold do the same thing by cutting all employees to four days a week, so the pain was felt from top to bottom!!!


For now, the Chiefs are throwing the Indians under the bus, but they’ll get their comeuppance when the tourists stay away in a bad economy and the city revenues stay on the skids.


I say throw the old under the bus and let the living survive.