Vallejo releases details of last-minute deal

March 1, 2008 11:55:19 AM PST
People in Vallejo are getting their first look at a plan to keep the city afloat financially. It's a drastic deal that would mean job cuts and reduced services.

A house fire on Lorenzo Drive was overshadowed by the city's budget crisis and the newly revealed plan to fix it. It all hit home for Shaun Rowland, whose sister escaped the burning house.

"It's like this emergency right now. If they cut the police and the firefighters, they wouldn't be able to respond so fast like they did now. The need to do something," says Rowland.

One of the proposals for the budget cuts is to shut down nearly two fire stations each day, as well as pay cuts for firefighters. According to the plan, the current pay raises would be reduced from 8 percent to 2 percent and Vallejo would eliminate jobs, amounting to a 19 percent workforce reduction.

"I'm encouraged by what has happened thus far. However, there are tremendous hurdles to overcome," says Mayor Osby Davis.

The police department is losing 12 sworn officers and numerous civilian physicians. It means they would see limited investigation of property crimes and reduced hours to conduct routine police business. With Vallejo set to run out of money by the end of March, it is seen as a short-term fix to get the city through the next few months.

"They have to plan and they haven't been doing it. What I heard, it just won't work more than a few months. We'll be back to the same problem," says Richard Kapp, Vallejo resident.

Vallejo is also considering raising revenue through a 911 communication center fee and a fee for hang up calls to 911. The sale of surplus is also on the table. It is a total package the city council and the unions all have to approve next week or Vallejo will file for Bankruptcy