COSTA MESA — After listening to hours of complaints about cuts to the Police Department and other criticisms, the City Council early Wednesday morning approved about $6 million in cuts and adopted a balanced budget for the fiscal year 2011-12.
The council voted 4 to 1, with Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissenting.
While the $115-million budget funds most of the current city services, it sets a tone of austerity that the council majority hopes to continue into the fall, when council members plan to have a final vote on outsourcing half the city's staff.
Some Costa Mesa leaders have drawn national attention for their conservative reform proposals they say are necessary to save the city from crushing pension costs. Employee unions and other critics argue that the council majority has exaggerated the crisis to advance its own political agenda.
"I'm very happy with this budget," said Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, who championed the cuts.