City Manager Memo Says “Layoffs”

In a memo to staff on Tuesday, May 18, P. Lamont Ewell, the interim city manager, was explicit about the need to lay off city staff.

“As you are aware, the City of Culver City has been exploring all opportunities to creatively balance our budget, while trying to safeguard our City’s most valuable resource – our employees. In response to the realities of the current economic environment at both the state and national levels, we’re taking important steps to reduce expenditures at the City. I want to tell you about the City’s proposed approach to address the budget crisis and what has led up to this critical moment in time.”

The loss of several large revenue engines, such as the Hooman auto dealership, and Circut City, has left Culver City $5 million in the red. While some of this can be covered by the general fund, no amount of creative accounting will be able to prevent laying off staff.

Ewell explained “As part of the process of adjustments, departments have been asked to propose cuts of approximately 3%. Regrettably, it will be necessary to recommend the elimination of up to 60 positions. Of the eliminated positions, 30 are currently vacant, 14 are being eliminated through the retirement incentive, and the remaining 16 are filled positions representing potential layoffs. These actions will not be easy. Our priority remains doing right by our community and our employees.”

What positions and departments will be affected by these steps is still not final, and the coming weeks will see changes all over city hall.

In concluding, Ewell emphasized the need for the lay offs, and the challenge of reducing staff. “The decision to eliminate positions is a very challenging one. The Culver City team of employees is the foundation of everything we do, and we place a high value on the commitment and hard work that you have dedicated to the community. But, we believe these job eliminations are necessary to the City’s ability to reduce expenditures, so that we have the resources to maintain City services. We will keep you updated on our progress as we move through this Budget process.”

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