I wanted to elaborate on some comments attributed to me in the May 24 edition of the Daily Facts, from the last Reform Redlands Now meeting.

At that meeting, I suggested two possible solutions the city could consider in order to mitigate the rising costs of our city employee pay and pension plans. One suggestion was to look at the cost of contracting out our fire and police services to Cal Fire and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The other suggestion was to look at what the city of Costa Mesa was doing in response to their unsustainable pension plans.

In a move to mitigate the rising costs of employee pension plans, Costa Mesa issued layoff notices to more than 200 city workers back in March – about half its work force. The city believes it can outsource many of the jobs and services to the private sector, which would ultimately result in significant cost savings.

The Costa Mesa City Employees Association subsequently sued to stop the planned layoffs, claiming the layoffs are illegal under state law and violate the union contract. Last month, an Orange County judge rejected the union’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop the layoffs. The judge will hear more arguments next month on whether to issue a preliminary injunction to stop layoffs until the union’s full legal challenge to the layoff plan is heard.

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