Compton is facing an untenable situation. Twice it has voted down a budget that would have included layoffs, but now it appears that if no budget passes Tuesday night, the city would be forced to shut down, involuntarily furloughing its entire staff, excluding essential employees and public safety officials.

Should the council approve a budget with layoffs, the city’s unions have already announced they would sue.

But after three years of deficits, the city is facing a liquidity problem and ended last year with $23 million in debts, or about 40% of the general fund.

The unions have proposed a series of concessions as an option other than layoffs, including early retirement benefits, furloughs, forfeiting vacation time, and new health benefits.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Compton’s financially struggling City Hall may have to shut down if the City Council doesn’t approve a new budget Tuesday night.

The council in recent weeks has twice voted down a budget that would lay off dozens of employees, including several department heads.Those voting in the majority said they wanted to see alternatives to layoffs.

City officials including City Manager Willie Norfleet and Mayor Eric Perrodin said last week that without a budget, a government shutdown could be imminent, with all city employees involuntarily furloughed except for public safety workers and other essential staff. City Treasurer Douglas Sanders said that he would not issue city paychecks this week if there was no budget appropriating the funds. City employees received notices weeks ago warning that their paychecks might be delayed.

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