Mayor Villaraigosa: LA must lay off 'large number of employees'

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he plans to call for a large number of layoffs of city employees as part of his upcoming budget proposal, which will be unveiled April 20, the L.A. Times reports.

"We're going to lay off a large number of employees. I'm not going to say how many," Villaraigosa said at the City Administrative Officer Investors Conference.

It's part of his plan to close a $220 million budget gap. The mayor's plan also includes plans for a long-term lease of city parking garages, which was rejected by the City Council before, as well as a higher retirement age for city employees. Villaraigosa threatened to put some of his ideas on the ballot if the City Council doesn't approve them.

This follows Villaraigosa and the rest of the city's five-member employee bargaining committee asking city unions to give up raises scheduled for the upcoming fiscal year. The unions refused to reopen contract talks.

More than 300 city workers have been laid off since the recession began, with thousands more retiring or transferring to agencies not affected by the budget crisis, with many of those positions not being filled.

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