Tucson city council beginning to look at cuts and the layoff process

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Two weeks after prop 400's failure, the dreaded 'L' word came up at city council.  Mayor and council delved into the layoff process for the first time.

Councilman Paul Cunningham pushed to act.

"I'm just worried we're running out of time.  There's stuff we can do right now and we can start actualizing savings right now," said Cunningham.  "I think before we lay anybody off, I'd like to propose or make a motion that we eliminate executive car allowances."

But that didn't go over too well around the table. The motion didn't even get a second. Council members didn't think just cutting one item was the right move.

"I think each of us could come up with a single thing," said Councilwoman Shirley Scott.  "I could come up with one right now, and I'm sure everybody else could and I think the whole process has to be seen holistically."

"Part of why I'm uncomfortable is that it's a pretty isolated motion," said Councilwoman  Karin Uhlich.

"There is just a reaction to throw things on the table and i think that creates a lot of chaos," said Councilwoman Regina Romero.  "That really disturbs the process we're trying to achieve."

Since prop 400's failure, the city has begun preparing for cuts.  Human Resources Director Cindy Bezaury explained the layoff process.

"We have to go into the civil service system.  We have to roster seniority, based on classification," said Bezaury.  "We have to look for temporaries, we have to look at non-permanent employees."

They have much to do, but the council wants to make sure layoffs are done right.

It's not yet clear how many will go, but laid off employees won't be leaving until at least April or May.

"I just want to make sure all our options are on the table and that's where I'm standing firmly," said Cunningham.

But Tuesday, no one stood with him.