Oakland layoff notices expected to go out today

February 1, 2012 7:28:21 AM PST
This is the day California's municipal redevelopment agencies disappear to help balance the state budget. It's also the day 80 Oakland city workers will be notified that they are out of a job and the two events are definitely linked.

The lack of redevelopment funding leaves Oakland about $28 million in debt. That money was contributing to the salaries of 200 city employees, in 11 departments. Luckily, 200 people are not being laid off and there's other good news too.

Funding has been saved for the Oakland Zoo, Children's Fairyland, Hacidenda Peralta Historical Park and some jobs. In the original proposal by the mayor and city administrator, those community destinations faced a 40 percent cut to their budgets. The new budget leaves them whole however in the final plan.

There are 105 positions that have been eliminated from the city of Oakland. Not all of those were filled, so we're talking about 80 people losing their jobs. Also, the city is going to sell a former fire station and the Parks and Recreation and Human Services departments are merging. And some rec centers will have to reduce their hours.

The budget passed six to one. One council member called it heartbreaking, but necessary. The police, fire and library budgets will be untouched.