San Luis Obispo County planning layoffs to cover budget deficit

August 5, 2020

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is considering eliminating nearly 28 full-time positions and laying off two workers as it grapples with a $26.3 million budget shortfall that has arisen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Of the 27.75 full-time equivalent positions county officials are considering cutting, 25.75 are vacant and two are filled. County officials have notified the two employees who may be laid off and are providing them assistance, according to county administrators. 

“This is a very difficult decision. Just like any local employer, we rely on our employees to provide quality services and the last thing we want to do is cut positions,” County Administrative Officer Wade Horton said in a statement. “We care about employees and want to continue providing important public services to the people of SLO County when they need our help the most.”

A decrease in consumer spending amid the pandemic has resulted in a significant loss of revenue. Simultaneously, county expenditures are increasing because of the pandemic response and a higher demand for public services.

Previously in June, the board of supervisors approved $6.5 million in departmental budget cuts. The budget cuts made eliminating certain positions unavoidable, according to the county.

The initial cuts included eliminating funding for equipment replacement, training and office supplies. County department heads then examined vacant positions in attempts to avoid layoffs.

Also in June, the board of supervisor approved $6.9 million in employee concessions, as well as the use of $12.8 million of reserves.

The board will address the budget deficit and potential layoffs when it meets on Aug. 11.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Living within a set budget is tough isn’t it?

/ rhetorical ?

Deal with it public departments that work for us, WE THE PEOPLE!

Everyone breathing knows we are in tough economic times and recovery is not expected quickly.

This is a unique opportunity to re-evaluate everything local governments- county and cities – do, and make the hard but necessary decisions to cut spending. The money isn’t there and it isn’t coming back for a long time. There really isn’t any other alternative. Every special interest group will scream bloody murder but, too bad. Elected officials can take cover because the situation is so bad and everybody knows it.

Pensions for public employees are so out of whack that we effectively have a second workforce of retirees collecting outrageous six figure retirements. Since the county has its own retirement system and is not a part of CalPERS, one way to stop this bleeding is to limit pensions going forward. I heard one idea that public employee pensions should top out at $104,000 a year in retirement- that’s $2000 a week. That is far more than the majority of residents make working.

So let’s adopt this and give current employees a “decision period” of a year or two to decide if they want to leave and take their current pension with them(whether of retirement age or not), remain working and then leave at the end of the “decision” period, or just accept it. This would impact the highest prospective retirees, not the lower ones. It would also discourage “pension spiking,” where employees work excessive overtime the last year or two to build up their pension.

Government jobs were meant to provide a middle class income, not make multi-millionaires out of bureaucrats.

It will take a multi-pronged approach to solve the debt problems.

Fantastic idea – too bad it does not have an ice-cubes chance in H— of succeeding.

There are too many that have been feeding at this trough for way too long.

They, and the ones still looking forward to the extremely generous retirement, will not give in easily.

Think it is going to take a slate of local candidates dedicated to salary cost reduction, including there own. Anyone willing to run at 60% salary?

As for pensions, a State of California windfall pension tax enacted thru the initiative process.