In the early morning hours Wednesday, the Costa Mesa City Council approved an additional $2.8 million of budget cuts for the city's 2011-12 fiscal year budget, bringing the total savings from the preliminary budget to $6.1 million.
The cuts reduce the city attorney's budget, leave some city staff positions vacant and slash in half the salaries of two economic development consultants.
The pro-business council majority accepted the reductions in order to reserve some money for contingencies, including $1.5 million annually to cover the cost of replacing city vehicles.
Also, it lowered its sales tax estimates by $400,000 to be more conservative. All the changes, along with the balanced budget adopted, fit into the four-person majority's plan to reform city finances.
"It's just basic business principles we need to have," said Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, who asked city Chief Executive Tom Hatch to make the changes last week. "I'm very happy with this budget."