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Villaraigosa Shuts Down Two Departments To Save City Cash

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Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 3:10 PM

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday announced he's shutting down two departments, Environmental Affairs and Human Services, in a bid to shave money off the city's ailing budget.

The duties of those small agencies would be folded into other departments, but 46 positions would be eliminated. "We're all going to have to make sacrifices in these times," Villaraigosa told reporters at City Hall.

The mayor also said that if all city employees took small-percentage cuts in pay, the city could slash as much as $350 million from its budget, according to KCAL9 news. The idea comes as the city is looking at $212 million-and-growing deficit with another $485 million in red ink expected to hit in July.

On Thursday the City Council ordered department heads to remove 3,000 positions, on top of 1,000 other layoffs that city administrator Miguel Santana has recommended. However, the cuts were not actually ordered, and the city will have to grapple with unions to affect such deep cuts. The department heads were given 45 days to comply.

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