In the latest development in the Costa Mesa outsourcing debate, city officials announced Wednesday they will cooperate with an outside audit commissioned by the Orange County Employees Assn.
City Chief Executive Tom Hatch said he will open the books so the association can confirm the city's finances.
Amid talks of mass employee layoffs, the association claims the City Council has manipulated numbers to exaggerate the city's financial problems. City officials say they face a $5-million deficit for the fiscal 2011-12 budget and that longer-term liabilities run into the tens of millions. Much of those obligations, they say, are from employee retirement costs.
"I'm confident that our representation of the city's financial condition is accurate," Hatch said in a statement. "Still, if individuals or groups want to check for themselves, they are always welcome."