Layoff impacts up for discussion in Inyo

inyosups4_15Inyo County government still has considerable money problems and has broached the subject of potential layoffs with employee bargaining groups. Today an item on the Board of Supervisors agenda speaks to layoff discussions and the layoff of three positions.

Item 13 from Personnel asks the Board to give directions to initiate layoff discussions with employee representatives. County Administrator Kevin Carunchio said, “We have notified all bargaining units to meet and confer on the impacts of layoffs.” The CAO said that Service Redesign has saved $600,000 but more is needed to reach the savings goal of $1.5 million to balance next year’s budget. Carunchio said there are ongoing efforts with other cost saving measures. County officials have said layoffs are a last resort. Carunchio said Inyo has only laid off three people in the last nine years.

Item 13 also deals with seeking authorization for the layoff of three positions in the Social Services Wrap Program. This is not about County budget problems. Carunchio explained that the program was State funded and designed to intervene in families in which an “at risk” youth was going to be placed out of County. They worked to keep the youth here with the family, and the program actually saved money. It was funded by State dollars, not the General Fund.

However, the caseload has now dropped so low that it does not justify paying for the positions. So the positions of Probation Officer II and Senior Social Worker Supervisor II are slated for layoff. The employees in those jobs, Carunchio said, have already been placed in new County jobs. The third Social Worker position is vacant and will not be filled.

Other items on the Supervisors’ agenda include a 5% salary increase for Water Director Bob Harrington and 80 hours of paid administrative leave per year. At 11 am, the Water Department planned to conduct a workshop on water-related legislation currently under development by the State of California. At 11:30 am, the Planning Department scheduled a public hearing to update the Conservation and Open Space Element of the General Plan with an Energy Efficiency Chapter.

At 1 pm, Public Administrator/ Public Guardian Patricia Barton planned to conduct a workshop on her services and case load. Last week, under Service Redesign, Health and Human Services talked about taking over some of Barton’s department’s duties. A team, including Barton, had studied this issue.  Barton had cautioned the change.  The County Administrator accused her of “sandbagging” the Service Redesign efforts to close the serious budget deficit and asked her to come back with a workshop this week.


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10 Responses to Layoff impacts up for discussion in Inyo

  1. The Aggressive Progressive June 3, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    And who was supporting the new Courthouse? How was that going to be paid for?
    If only Inyo county didn’t have its fate in the grasp of a empire (LADWP), we would see the County receive the proper tax’s for it’s lands…

    • Desert Tortoise June 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      Superior Courts are funded entirely by the state, not the county. Different pot of money. Before being consolidated with the Superior Courts, Prior to consolidation with the SUperior Courts, the old Municipal Courts were funded by the counties.

    • Inyoite June 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      It is confusing because there are actually three new buildings being considered: The Consolidated Office Building being considered in Bishop (funded by Inyo County) and a new Superior Court building located in Bishop as well as a repurposed modular from another County that would be situated in Independence. The latter are not funded by Inyo County per se, but are funded by the AOC (Administrative Office of the Courts) along with additional monies that were set aside in a special trust long before the consolidation of the Courts.
      Anyway, that is the way I understand it. I am sure somebody with more knowledge can explain the funding streams much better than I can!

  2. RAM June 3, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Down the drain we go

  3. Put me in charge June 3, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    I find it interesting that in Inyo County “County officials have said layoffs are a last resort”
    Whereas in Mono County layoffs appear to be the one and only resort. I should lobby to become the CAO. I’ll be the hatchet man – and I’ll do it for 1/2 the salary of the current CAO.
    Or a third even.

  4. Trouble June 3, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    Maybe the Supervisors should ask DWP for some jobs in exchange for that solar deal their giving away.

  5. Nonsense June 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    What on earth possessed this Board to approve raises and big “equity” increases when those actions would result in layoffs and “service redesigns” that impact the taxpayers of Inyo County?
    Every County employee that is laid off affects Inyo’s economy. Better that people are paid a little less if that meant no layoffs. An employee that loses their job won’t be able to support local businesses and many of those businesses are already struggling to stay afloat!
    Isn’t it ironic that the pay increase discussion for Mr. Harrington is right after the discussion of layoffs.
    Doesn’t Inyo County have a budget officer who could have predicted this disaster? Lots of questions and no answers.

  6. Not really June 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    It’s on the consent agenda. It’s not “up for discussion” unless someone on the board has the courage to pull it off consent and discuss it.

    Glad to hear that the employees have been placed elsewhere.

    • Benett Kessler June 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      The headline and story pointing to layoff discussions comes from a statement made by the County Administrator who said employee bargaining units have been notified to meet and confer (discuss) impacts of layoffs. Benett Kessler

    • Desert Tortoise June 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      Items on the Consent Calendar may be challenged by any member of the public in attendance. If there is such a challenge, the measure must be opened for public discussion followed by discussion by the Board. Depending upon whether or not the individual challenging the measure is satisfied or not, there may or may not be a vote by the Board on that individual measure.


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