Desert Hot Springs council members approve employee salary cuts

Cuts needed to help close $4 million budget deficit

Marc Blaine, KESQ News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, mblaine@kesq.com
POSTED: 06:09 PM PST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 10:34 AM PST Dec 20, 2013 
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. -

Desert Hot Springs interim city manager Bob Adams is recommending a dramatic cut in employees salaries as the city tries to close a $4 million budget deficit. The measure was voted on at Thursday night's meeting and passed unanimously.

Most salaries are going to be slashed by  22.5%  for $2 million in savings.

The measure was voted on after the city declared a financial emergency in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

Because the salary cuts were approved, the city can remain solvent through June before dealing with further cuts to completely close the $4 million dollar gap.

"Unless somebody wants to put this city in bankruptcy, they're gonna have to vote for these cuts as unfortunate as it is and however hard it is on city employees, these cuts must be made," said Mayor Pro Tem Russell Betts.

Last week police chief Kate Singer and another high ranking police official announced their retirements.

According to the state controller's office, the average annual salary for Desert Hot Springs employees was more than $75,500 last year.