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Oakland Faces Sweeping Cuts Due To Massive Budget Deficit

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Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

OAKLAND (KCBS) – The news was grim in Oakland, where city leaders participated in a so-called budget “retreat” on Monday. It was revealed that sizeable across-the-board cuts in city departments were expected as Oakland grapples with a projected $46 million deficit.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“We know that we’re not going to cut 15% from every program in Human Services, it wouldn’t make sense,” Mayor Jean Quan clarified. “But we wanted to give sort of a sense of if you did across-the-board, what would this look like?”

She stressed the need for a voter-approved, 5-year parcel tax, something she said wouldn’t erase Oakland’s massive budget problem, but would certainly help to ease the funding gap.

“If the parcel tax is either not put on the ballot or does not pass, you will have to make all of these cuts and a few million dollars more,” Quan warned the councilmembers and department heads in attendance at Monday’s workshop.

One of those in attendance was human resources director Andrea Gourdine, who lamented having already lost 34% of her workforce since 2008 alone.

“This department was reduced from a high of 62 to 41, which is where we are now. It’s the highest (cut) of any of the departments that have been cut to date,” she described current circumstances within her department, which is involved in the civil service system, recruiting, and labor agreements. “We’re not talking about, in human resources, doing more with less. We’re talking about doing less with less.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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