Protesters Shut Down Oakland City Council Meeting On Layoffs

OAKLAND (KCBS) – Occupy protesters shut down an Oakland City Council meeting Wednesday where lawmakers were supposed to hear public comment on plans to consolidate departments and lay off city workers.

The loss of $28 million in state redevelopment money sent city officials scrambling to streamline the budget. That funding supported 159 city jobs. As many as 105 of those workers could find themselves unemployed in February.

“Even some of the unions here tonight, your parent unions agreed to the elimination of redevelopment,” said Mayor Jean Quan. But as Quan defended the cuts amid the raucous gathering, the protesters pounced.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

The chanting by dozens of protesters became so loud that Mayor Quan, Councilman Larry Reid and several others got up and left, saying they would resume once things calmed down.

A recess was called, but the mayor did not return once the meeting resumed a half-hour later.

In all, the city sent out 2,500 pink slips after a court upheld Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to divert redevelopment money back into state coffers.

Oakland may be able to keep $7.5 million, an amount the city administrator said would mean just 81 layoffs.

A final decision on the job cuts was expected on Jan. 31.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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