12 city workers get layoff notices

Twelve city workers will be laid off by July 1 as a direct result of the state's elimination of redevelopment agencies, Downey officials said today.City manager Gilbert Livas blamed state and federal budget cuts for the layoffs, calling them "drastic" and "devastating." Layoffs were a last resort, he said. Affected employees have already been notified, Livas said. City officials did not say which positions were eliminated. "We appreciate the commitment and valuable contributions that our City employees provide to help deliver high-quality services to the Downey community," Livas said. "Layoffs were a last resort and we are doing all we can to minimize the impact of these devastating cuts." No further layoffs are expected "at this time," Livas added. The city of Downey was using about $1.1 million in state redevelopment money to staff full- and part-time positions. Funding was cut off Feb. 1 by Gov. Jerry Brown as a cost-savings measure. In total, Downey lost about $3.2 million from the state this year. The city also faces "drastic reductions" in federal HOME funds and Community Development Block Grant allocations. Downey has been operating at a deficit since 2008-09, and has used reserve funds to plug its annual deficit. "We know that working through the consequences of the State's decision will be challenging, but we are committed to finding solutions and look forward to new developments in the City that should improve our economic situation in the coming years," said Livas.