CONCORD — Seven city employees were laid off at the end of October in the fallout from budget cuts approved in June.

Meanwhile, the city has reorganized several departments, cutting the number of managers by combining three departments into two.

The moves result from the $8 million the city has cut from its budget this year. And in the next two years, the city must cut another $9.7 million.

Right now, it is burning through its reserves at a pace of about $10 million per year.

The June budget cuts eliminated 42.5 full-time jobs. The plan also included an early-retirement program that aimed to cut the number of layoffs.

Sixty-two employees took the early retirement offer, though not all of them were in jobs eliminated as part of the budget cuts.

Nine employees whose jobs had been cut moved into other positions vacated as part of the early retirement program.

At the end of the reshuffling, seven employees were left without a job, Assistant City Manager Valerie Barone wrote in an e-mail.

"The council's two goals were to minimize service impacts to the community and minimize impacts to employees in the organization," Mayor Laura Hoffmeister said. "I think we've been able to try and strike a balance there."

The city has also reorganized some its departments to operate better with fewer managers. Now it has two departments — Community Development and Public Works and Engineering — where it used to have three (Public Works; Building, Engineering and Neighborhood Services; and Planning and Economic Development).


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"It's a necessity," said Councilman Bill Shinn. The city staff is down to about 415 employees, where before there were about 500. "I think that every few generations, organizations kind of reinvent themselves."

Residents should not notice the changes to public works and engineering efforts, said Alex Pascual, director of the new department.

"All we're doing is consolidating," Pascual said. "We can deliver the services more effectively. It's eliminating what you call redundancies ... We have had a lot of reduction in staffing, so it actually allows us to be leaner but at the same time to deliver the services."

Shinn said he approves of the city's approach to cutting its budget and staff. But he worries about stretching lower-level employees too thin or demanding so much of managers that they don't have time to do their jobs.

Management ranks today stand at three-quarters of what they were a year ago, according to Barone.

Before the cuts, the city had 79 managers. The city currently has 67 management positions, seven of which are currently vacant.

When, or whether, those vacant positions will be filled is unclear.

"Given the depth of the budget gap we are still grappling with closing, we anticipate filling very few vacancies — regardless of how they were created — over the remainder of this budget year," Barone wrote in an e-mail.

Reach Paul Thissen at 925-943-8163.