Council gives staff little direction on how to stay afloat
February 11, 2010 4:59 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • Reducing the number of sheriff’s deputies and firefighters on city streets may be necessary to close Victorville’s $4.36 million deficit, according to City Manager Jim Cox.

“No one wants to suggest that, no one wants to telegraph that, no one wants to go there,” Cox told the council this week. “I think the reality is you may have to look at public safety.”

The council has so far instructed staff to stay away from cuts to public safety, even when faced with a $13 million deficit last summer.

But, having already taken pay cuts, lost 84 or so employees to layoffs and retirements, trimmed all department budgets and continued attempts to sell or lease city assets, staff came to council this week asking for direction on how to close the gap they’re still facing.

“We actually can get through to June 30 as we’re going but we could not possibly get through next year … We have to make those cuts now,” Cox said during the mid-year budget review. “I absolutely believe at this point that there will be a further reduction in staff, and layoffs are going to come rather quickly. And second you have to recognize the fact that there’s probably going to be a reduction in services.”

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Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at