Villaraigosa calls layoffs unavoidable, urges quick action

After ordering last week that officials begin cutting jobs and planning layoffs, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told an audience of city workers today that the cuts were unavoidable.

In the face of a worsening budget crisis, Villaraigosa sent a letter to City Council department heads last week requesting an effort to shift employees to open positions not paid for by the city’s general fund and to impose layoffs where necessary, the Los Angeles Times reported last week.

Tuesday, Villaraigosa told officials to ask quickly. Speaking in front of a crowd of mostly city workers, Villaraigosa called the layoffs unavoidable, the LA Times reported.

The layoffs are an attempt to deal with a $212 million shortfall.  Though Villaraigosa has indeed suggested layoffs in previous years to deal with the city’s financial problems, they have been averted until recently.  The city’s top budget official warned that the financial situation was creating a fiscal emergency and furthermore putting the city’s credit rating at risk.

“I don’t do this because I want to.  I do this because I must”, Villaraigosa told the LA Times.