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Long Beach bonds to cover separation payments

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue.

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue. The police station and fire department are attached to the building. (June 21, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Long Beach will issue $5.65 million in bonds to pay for separation payments incurred over the past year.

The city issued 16 early retirement buyouts in May and June and laid off 23 employees in July. Sixteen other workers either retired or were terminated between December and March, officials said.

The payments to the 55 employees total just under $5.64 million, city officials said.

“This is to take the significant costs we incurred and spread them out over time,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said.

The bond issue passed by a 4-1 vote. Councilman Michael Fagen opposed the bond issue, citing the city’s recent financial turmoil.

Long Beach’s City Council in May passed a 2012-13 budget that included a 7.9 percent tax hike designed to help plug a $10.25 million deficit. The city needs to curb its borrowing, Fagen said.

“At some point the taxpayers going to be hit with this,” he said.

Schnirman disputed Fagen’s claim. He said the leaner workforce caused by the buyouts and layoffs will aid the city’s cash flow.

Photo: Long Beach City Hall
 

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