The City of Fullerton expressed thanks today to 153 part-time employees in the Library, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works Departments who are unfortunately being separated from employment as a result of operational disruptions and substantial revenue reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary projections are that the City will end the current Fiscal Year with over $3 million less revenues than originally budgeted due to the health crisis affecting local retail and the travel industry. Projections for the next Fiscal Year continue a reduction in revenues, which will significantly affect the City’s ability to provide services and programs.
“The City and our residents have been greatly served by a dedicated and hard-working core of part-time employees who staff everything from customer service desks, perform engineering duties, assist library patrons, and are our primary staffing at community centers, events, and programs,” stated Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald. “Unfortunately, this pandemic has shuttered or greatly decreased our community’s retail businesses and hotels, which through sales tax help maintain the City’s services to our residents. It breaks my heart to know that we cannot continue to employ them based on our fiscal condition. I thank them for their service.”
In an update to the City Council on April 7, 2020, City Manager Ken Domer outlined that the reduced commercial activity, hotel bookings, and reductions in lease and other revenues from the COVID-19 pandemic had created an estimated $3.1 million deficit in the current Fiscal Year, which ends June 30th. Based on the length of the Stay at Home order and other social distancing requirements, revenues for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020/21 are expected to decline by more than $2 million, at a minimum, depending on the length of time to return to normal levels. Despite two years of structurally balanced budgets, the City of Fullerton has consistently detailed its fiscal challenges in recent years. Fiscal challenges include repair of our roads, increased sidewalk and other infrastructure needs, increasing tree trimming and maintenance of the City’s urban forest, and ensuring retention of City Staff and public safety personnel.
“The service level expectations of our residents have been well understood by the City Council and our efforts have always been to keep Fullerton as the best place to live,” stated Ken Domer, City Manager. “The need to begin separating staff is a harsh reality to the position we are now in. The part-time staff of Fullerton, for many their first job, have been instrumental in serving our residents. I thank them for their dedication and look forward to a future in which we can hire them back and provide a full level of programming again.”