CALIFORNIA CITY — The City Council will discuss on Tuesday whether it will retain the Code Enforcement Officer positions, but leave them vacant, or eliminate the positions completely.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. In following the guidelines laid out by the state for public meetings during the COVID-19 emergency, it is not open to the public in person, but it may be viewed live on the city’s Web site, www.californiacity-ca.gov, under the “Video Feed” tab.

Public comments may be submitted through the same site using eComment.

As it copes with a fiscal crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council on April 14 decided to lay off 24 employees, saving nearly $1.5 million.

Among the layoffs specified were two Code Enforcement Officers, who are part of the Fire Department.

The Fire and Police Departments made cuts to meet the lowered rate of the special parcel tax passed by voters to fund those departments. The Council earlier lowered the tax rate, and the budget cuts will meet that lower revenue amount, supplemented by a General Fund account for public safety.

With only two Code Enforcement Officer positions, the layoffs effectively suspends that function.

However, during the layoff process with the employee union, there were conflicting understandings of whether the Council intended to layoff the personnel but leave the positions intact, or to eliminate the positions completely, according to the staff report by City Manager Anna Linn.

In the staff report, Linn notes that eliminating the positions would do away with Code Enforcement activities, as well, as the city would not have anyone assigned to their functions. This includes ensuring the city’s rules and regulations are followed and issuing citations and administrative fines when they are not.

As of March, the last written report to the Council available, Code Enforcement had 202 open cases.

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