"As I have said all along, our employees are working hard to help us, as a team together, to solve the budget crisis and I'm very thankful," Councilwoman Katrina Foley said. "They care about our community just like I do, and they are doing what they can to help solve a budget crisis that they did not create."
The firefighters agreed to contribute 5% into their retirement accounts in addition to the 1% they pay now, City Manager Allan Roeder said.
They also agreed to forego a salary increase scheduled to take effect in September. The contributions to their retirement accounts would take effect Oct. 24 and continue for a year, according to a city staff report.
"Is this everything everybody might like it to be? Undoubtedly not," Roeder said. "I think given the circumstance in which we're operating, this is worthy of the City Council's consideration."
In addition to the retirement contribution, the association agreed to pay for an analysis that would compare the cost of services provided by the Fire Department to that of the Orange County Fire Authority, Roeder said.
The results of the analysis, however, would not require the city to contract with the Fire Authority, he said.
Other cities and communities that have joined the authority have retained their local firefighter personnel, Roeder said. In that case, the firefighters would become Authority employees instead of city employees, he said.
"It's important to note that anything absent of analysis could be totally speculative, and you really need to have analysis before you draw any conclusions," Roeder said.
The city continues to negotiate with the rest of its associations, including the Costa Mesa Police Assn.
In other city news, City Atty. Kimberly Hall Barlow plans to share the results of the investigation into the DUI checkpoint incident involving Planning Commissioner, City Council candidate and former Daily Pilot columnist Jim Righeimer. Righeimer pulled over last month after passing through a checkpoint without incident and then questioned officers about the wisdom of slowing down rush-hour traffic on Harbor Boulevard.
If You Go
What: Costa Mesa City Council special meeting
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.