Tuesday, November 23, 2010 – 04:24 p.m.

One would think things would have changed since San Bernardino County chief executive officer Greg Devereaux arrived on scene last February.

Maybe not.

While neighboring Riverside County continues to make ongoing budget cuts, San Bernardino County, facing an upcoming budget deficit of between $132 million and $160 million continues to stick its head in the sand.

Amazing!

The one positive change? County hiring has been finally brought to a stand still. A move that should have happened a year and a half ago.

It’ll be interesting to see if the county’s plan is to approach the unions for the second year in a row with hat-in-hand. A move that probably won’t go well.

The county needs to reduce its retirement funding costs and the only way to impact such costs is to increase employee contribution.

A proposal, which is the equivalent of a pretax pay cut.

Last year, all employees with the exception of law enforcement, cancelled their remaining salary increases. Unfortunately that isn’t going to be enough.

Like I have previously said, layoffs will be in order because attrition alone won’t accomplish what’s needed.

As a matter of fact layoffs should have already occurred. However, for some unknown reason, the San Bernardino County administration has resisted shrinking its workforce.

A reluctance that will cause even more pain this coming spring.