Half Moon Bay did it. Costa Mesa has proposed it. Now Atherton has joined a growing number of cities that are looking at outsourcing as the most effective means to control costs.

The decision to outsource, proposed by Atherton’s city manager, was confirmed by the city council in a closed session on Tuesday. As is the case in Costa Mesa, the city has been served with a lawsuit.

The city’s Teamsters Union, which represents 13 workers who were served with pink slips as part of the plan, claim that the city simply doesn’t have the authority to outsource its employees and services.

The action, however, was taken to close a budget gap that approached $900,000 this year. The city had previously tried to close the gap with negotiations with the employee bargaining groups and had even used a state mediator. But once those avenues had run their course, the city would have still faced a budget deficit of at least $400,000.

The move to outsource the Public Works and Building departments is estimated to save the city $700,000.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Atherton is moving forward with a plan to lay off about 30 percent of its workforce Friday, but the ousted employees aren’t going without a fight.

City Manager John Danielson’s controversial move to outsource the town’s public works and building departments was “affirmed” by the city council in a closed session Tuesday afternoon.

Teamsters Union Local 856, which represents the 13 pink-slipped workers, countered with a lawsuit claiming the town does not have authority to outsource the jobs “under California state government code,” union representative Peter Finn said. Finn, however, declined to provide a copy of the suit to The Daily News or comment further on the legal action.

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