Costa Mesa’s bid to reduce city payroll through an expansive outsourcing program has come to a halt, at least temporarily, as the City Council voted to rescind 70 layoff notices.

Along with the decision to pull back some of the layoff notices was a directive to begin negotiating with the city’s employee union to seek concessions and long-term remedies to the city’s fiscal troubles.

Some of the city’s outsourcing plans can continue, but on a much smaller scale. Recent court decisions have reaffirmed limitations on outsourcing by general law cities. With the failure of the City’s charter on the recent ballot, Councilman Jim Righiemer says he will still seek to outsource selected services such as the city’s jail.

The move to revoke the layoff notices was heralded as a victor by the Orange County Employees Association, the umbrella organization that supported the Costa Mesa Employees Association and its approximately 200 represented employees.