Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/15/2011 05:42:39 PM PDT

LOMA LINDA – Despite a 10 percent drop in revenue, the City Council has passed a balanced and largely drama-free budget.

Officials said the reductions didn’t come without some pain, including two layoffs, two other positions that will remain unfilled and a decrease in employees’ take-home pay by requiring them to pay their own retirement contributions.

But they said the plan – which passed 4-0 on Tuesday night, with Councilman Ovi Popescu absent – demonstrated the city’s common-sense, community-minded approach.

“You can’t mistake the contrast with the state budget,” Councilman Stan Brauer said. “If our state did this, our state would have a balanced budget every year.”

City Manager Jarb Thaipejr said Wednesday it was the hardest budget of the three he’s been in charge of, but he avoided the fights that have struck other cities by meeting regularly with city employees.

“It was pretty smooth,” Thaipejr said. “I showed them a spreadsheet of revenues and a spreadsheet of expenditures. We can’t have more expenditures than revenue. I think the most important thing is keeping them informed and keeping open communication.”

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