DWP To Slash $440M With Hiring Freeze, Exec Perk Cuts

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Department of Water and Power may have found a way to save buckets of money — but it could end up in hundreds of job losses.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the belt-tightening is aimed at cutting up to $440 million from the budget.

Officials say there are some things they cannot cut — they still have to deliver water and power — and they have to replace aging infrastructure like the spate of busted water mains plaguing the city.

But GM Ron Nichols says the department can slash its budget with a hiring freeze, bond refinancing and other potential moves like eliminating corporate credit cards and executive take-home cars.

“We’re cutting where we can cut, so we can move forward,” said Nichols.

While he does not believe layoffs are necessary, Nichols warns the reduction in workforce should mean about 500 fewer workers overall.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, meanwhile, praised the proposed cuts and said it’s clear from the presentation that it’s a significant move.

“You’re talking about real money over a three-year period of time,” said Villaraigosa.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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