Oakland Prepares 1,500 Pink Slips

Oakland needs to cut $30 million from its budget, which means a shower of pink slips.

By Chris Roberts
|  Saturday, Jan 14, 2012  |  Updated 7:52 AM PDT
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Oakland to Layoff 200 City Workers

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Of Oakland's 3,000 full-time permanent employees, 1,500 will receive pink slips.

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Mayor Jean Quan is preparing to paint the city of Oakland pink -- and not the pretty kind.

Of the city's 3,000 full-time permanent employees, up to 1,500 will receive layoff notices in coming weeks, a city spokesperson said. And 200 will eventually lose their jobs.

The pink slips come as the state has sliced tens of millions of dollars in redevelopment funds from city budgets, the San Francisco Chronicle observes.

Oakland -- which has one of the highest rates of city worker-to city resident in the state, with 5,900 employees for 430,000 residents -- must trim $30 million from its budget. And with such a workforce-heavy municipal payroll, that means cutting workers, the newspaper observes.

The city's already cut upwards of $58 million from its budget in recent years.

A final decision on cuts will be made Jan. 23.

This is an opportunity, according to the Chronicle's Chip Johnson, who says that Oakland's city government is bloated with too many employees and too many pet projects. A fiscal setback of this magnitude is no small problem, true, but if the cuts are done with "surgical precision," as he puts it, Oakland will be left with a "restructuring" best for the future.

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