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Workforce shrinks by 8 more
Manteca looking at $3.8M shortfall for next fiscal year
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The departure of eight municipal employees in the coming weeks - from two police officers to a parks worker - means Manteca will just have  $3.8 million left to cut in order to balance the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The retirements mean that there are now 20 percent less city workers on the job in Manteca than there were at this time last year.  

A year ago Manteca’s deficit was projected at $14.5 million going into the 2010-11 fiscal year if revenue and spending trends continued. The $11.4 million in cuts made this fiscal year contained primarily ongoing spending reductions although some were one-time savings.

“We’ve come a long way,” noted City Manager Steve Pinkerton.

Manteca and other jurisdictions got some good news this past week when the California Public Employees System indicated the value of their holdings that yield revenue to underwrite pensions had increased 22.3 percent over last year. Rises in equity were credited with the nation’s largest public pension fund now being valued at $225 billion.

PERS, though, is still getting hammered by some of its real estate holdings.

What this means for Manteca is PERS isn’t expected to increase the city’s contribution tab for remaining employees significantly - if at all - for the next fiscal year.

Cities avoided getting hit big time this year from massive losses in the investments that generate incomes for pension payments due to a PERS decision that essentially mortgaged the shortfall over the next 30 years.

To show how the loss in staff is now impacting services, the departure of John Boore as a full-time community service manager is leaving the recreation division with no mid-level management. Kathy Cortez, the city’s only other community service manager, retired last year.

That prompted the City Council Tuesday night to approve a department reorganization that will elevate a current non-management recreation program coordinator into one of two newly created recreation supervisor positions.

The new pwositions will be mid-management and will replace the community service manager positions although the pay scale will be lower.

Boore will remain on after March 31 in a part-time capacity to provide training and to a ensure smooth transition of the operations  of the senior center. The operations for the senior center will be taken over by the second recreation supervisor who will step up in January of 2011.

The plan - including factoring in Boore’s part-time employment - will save Manteca $81,330 overall by June 30, 2011.