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San Fernando Employees Waiting for the Layoff Shoe to Drop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Diana Martinez | Editor   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 04:18

While the city of San Fernando finds itself dangerously close to taking a dip into red ink, those that work for the city grow increasingly worried each day. For months, employees have heard that layoffs are looming, but have yet to get word about their fate. City councilwoman Sylvia Ballin said she is very concerned.

"We were supposed to have a special meeting Tuesday to discuss our budget and layoffs, but both councilwoman Maribel De La Torre and councilwoman Brenda Esqueda were a no show once again."

Ballin and residents have noted that instead of tackling thae city's serious financial shortfalls, the city and residents feel hostage to the soap operas imposed by Mayor Esqueda, Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre and former councilman Mario Hernandez. De La Torre made a recent court appearance following allegations that she beat up her lover, Mario Hernandez. Esqueda meanwhile has been chasing television cameras through town, proclaiming, "I'm the Mayor, I'm the Mayor," as residents continue to ask her to step down to avoid the cost of a November recall election.

"The business of keeping the town afloat hasn't received the attention that it sorely deserves," said Ballin, who said that because De La Torre and Esqueda have now missed so many meetings set to discuss the budget, she now plans to place it on the council agenda for next Monday.

"If they won't meet in closed session, then we'll just have to discuss it publicly," she said. "The employees deserve to know what's going on."

"I agree with councilwoman Sylvia Ballin," said city Treasurer Margarita Solis, "Something does have to be done. Because of all the shortfalls, we do have a cash flow problem. If we don't pay attention to this problem, we could be in the red. We could probably go another eight months if we consider canceling or delaying some projects that they have been approved," she said.

Each department head has made recommendations for layoffs. Ballin said she would like to suggest furlough days for employees to consider, as a possible solution.

"If employees don't agree to take furlough days, then we'll have no choice and will have to move quickly to start laying people off," she said.

"Employees go to work everyday not knowing when that shoe is going to drop," said Ballin. Meanwhile, those that work each day at city hall wonder why they have to put up with seeing Mario Hernandez at city hall for hours at a time, meeting with city administrator Al Hernandez. They wonder why the city administrator gives an audience to a guy who is no longer on the council.

"What is really going on here?," asked a city employee, who asked not to be identified. "We have our families to feed and they spend all this time dealing with their drama and they haven't minded the store. We've had it. We are all suffering because of these people."