MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) UPDATED 6/01/20 11:39 p.m. Fears of layoffs within the Monterey Fire Department were eased as the city announced no layoffs will take place within the agency, however other departments will see more than 70 people laid off starting Tuesday.
The city faces an estimated $31 million loss in revenue over the next two fiscal years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Departments facing layoffs include the parks and recreation department, library and museums, parking division in public works, among others.
Initially, three people from the fire department were expected to face layoffs. That has changed.
“Currently there are no plans to have any layoffs within the fire department. there were some discussions about making shifts and reducing management position.” says Monterey Assistant City Manager, Nat Rojanasathira. ”But that proposal to eliminate fire management has been reconsidered.”
The situation remains fluid as the city tries to deal with its multi-million dollar deficit.
The city says these are temporary layoffs and the goal is to rehire workers as they assess the situation and facilities reopen.
“Our hearts go out to our employees and their families. There are no plans currently for additional layoffs at this time, our focus right now is bringing employees who have been laid off back to work and finding other ways to reduce expenses and generate revenue," says Rojanasathira.
The city is holding a virtual town hall meeting Monday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the budget and services. The city is encouraging residents to attend.
The assistant city manager says things could change in the future.
the adoption of the budget would be later this month…tentatively june 16.
Residents that would like to actively participate during the meeting should register at monterey.org/coronavirus.
The town hall meeting will be broadcast on YouTube here: youtube.com/cityofmonterey.
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The Monterey Firefighters Association says the City of Monterey is in discussions about laying off three firefighters.
The association took to Twitter to share the news of potential layoffs. They said while the loss of tourism and associated tax revenue isn't anything to scoff about, they believe the fire department provides an essential service.
"Eliminating valuable personnel is absolutely incompatible with the City of Monterey's stated number one priority during the COVID-19 crisis: "To maintain public safety," said the post.
City staff estimates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will devastate the city's general fund revenues by about $31 million.
The City of Monterey has not gotten back to KION for comment.
There is an online town hall meeting this Monday, June 1st, at 6:30pm where residents can speak about their thoughts.