Riverside County has handed out pink slips to 32 of its employees from different departments as the county tries to cut costs and get the its budget deficit in order.
Layoff notices were sent to 23 code enforcement employees and one in the Transportation & Land management Agency in the last week of May. Eight employees in the supply and printing services division also lost their jobs.
County spokesperson Ray Smith attributed the large number of code enforcement layoffs to the county’s overall deficit. He noted that code enforcement was required to slash its budget by $3.0 million for services in unincorporated areas.
On top of that, Smith said the city of Perris, California stopped contracting with Riverside County for code enforcement services, which resulted in the county losing $1.0 million in additional revenue. That money helped pay for the costs of employees who worked in Perris.
To help further cut costs over the last number of years, the code department has not filled positions when employees retired or left. The department also reduced headcount at the managerial level. However, the savings were not enough to prevent the layoffs.
Because of the layoffs, the department will need to prioritize cases with a focus on health and safety issues and fully recover payment from property owners to cover costs of the cases and reduce the impact to the general fund.
“High-priority issues include addressing things like hazardous open trenches, pools without fences, unsafe electrical service in buildings,” Smith said. “Meanwhile, lower-priority reports, like parking violations, will take longer to handle.”
With regards to the Supply and Printing Services division, the county noted that most departments no longer require the large print jobs that the division offered. Traditional printing jobs have taken a back seat to e-mails, PDFs, and documents signed with electronic signatures.
Over the last three years, revenue at the Supply and Printing Services division has plunged 50.6% and production of high-speed copies is down 58%.
Those employees who have been laid off will be placed on Riverside County’s priority interview list for two years.
“Riverside County lays off more than 30 employees,” KESQ News Channel 3, June 6, 2017.)
“More than 30 Riverside County employees receive layoff notices,” The Press-Enterprise, June 5, 2017.