COSTA MESA — In a 4-1 vote just before midnight Tuesday, with Wendy Leece dissenting, the Costa Mesa City Council approved issuing more than 150 layoff notices to city employees.
"This has been coming on for a long time, and we're coming to a point that's rock bottom," Mayor Gary Monahan told the audience, mostly city employees who could face layoffs in six months with the council's approval.
Monahan, like many of the council members, blamed years of missteps by city staff or the council itself for leaving the city in its current budget predicament.
"The world works on a calendar and a clock," Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer said. "July 1 we have a new budget. What's happened in previous councils was we'd wait until the 11th hour and push something through."
Tuesday's move could wipe out more than 150 city employees' jobs in 18 city services as part of a dramatic restructuring of a city facing skyrocketing pension costs in the coming years.