ORANGE : City Announces Plan for Possible Layoffs

City officials have formally released an often-discussed plan that, if approved, would eliminate 40 to 80 full-time city positions in an effort to offset a $10.7-million budget shortfall.

The proposal includes up to 17 positions at the Police and Fire departments.

Exactly how many jobs will be cut depends largely on how sharply state funding is reduced and whether city employees agree to extend the Friday work furlough program.

The City Council hasn't approved any layoffs yet. Officials said one reason for announcing the plan was to give affected workers notice that their jobs might be eliminated. Layoffs would occur in July.

Some council members stressed that they will carefully examine all cuts before approving them.

They also vowed not to eliminate jobs in the Police or Fire departments if such cuts would reduce emergency response times or otherwise reduce protection levels.

"Public safety is a key concern," said Councilman Mike Spurgeon. "If one of the chiefs comes to me and says more cuts will effect protection levels, I would be very tentative."

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