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La Mirada to Eliminate Assistant City Manager Position

By Tony Aiello

To cut costs, the City of La Mirada recently announced it will not fill the Assistant City Manager position left vacant by Kevin Prelgovisk’s retirement last month.


Prelogovisk previously served as the City’s Administrative Services director, overseeing the City’s annual budget. That position will remain eliminated as well.
City Manager Tom Robinson told us that he does not anticipate the Assistant City Manager will be occupied in the future.
The elimination of the position will save the city $136,000 a year; however other city staff members will have to take on a larger workload and additional responsibilities, according to a city statement.
Our dig into public records show in 2011-12, Prelogovisk earned $6,280.66 on a biweekly basis-roughly $150,000 a year. He also received a $275 monthly car allowance.
Former assistants to the city manager, Jeff Boynton and Anne Haraksin will be upgraded to Deputy City Managers, and Personnel Manager Cristina Cota will assume responsibility for overseeing risk management duties, according to the statement.
Two members of the City’s finance staff, Judy Quiñonez and Melissa Pascual, have been upgraded to senior accountants, and given additional responsibilities in the supervising of the City’s finances, in Prelgovisk’s absence.
“La Mirada lost an excellent assistant city manager due to Kevin Prelgovisk’s retirement, but during these difficult economic times we must seize opportunities to reduce the size of local government,” said City Manager Tom Robinson.  “I am confident that the employees involved in these adjustments to La Mirada’s ongoing downsizing of staff will perform their new duties very well.”
Boynton joined the La Mirada staff in 2001.  As assistant to the city manager, he performed a broad range of administrative duties and special projects including assisting with the Stage Road underpass project on Valley View Avenue-the largest capital improvement project in La Mirada’s history scheduled to begin before the end of the year.
Haraksin has been with La Mirada since 2000.  In addition to her prior role in the past as assistant to the city manager, she oversees La Mirada’s public safety program-which is the largest budget in the City.
Cota has served as Personnel Manager for La Mirada since 2007 and is responsible for all aspects of the City’s personnel operations. Quiñonez began working for La Mirada in 2003 and has been responsible for all redevelopment agency finances and transportation funding. Pascual also began her duties with La Mirada in 2003 and is responsible for all City funds, and preparing a variety of annual financial reports.
During the past four years, La Mirada has reduced its number of full-time employees from 97 to 70, a reduction of 27 percent.  Further efforts to reduce full-time staffing are expected to result in the loss of approximately four more positions by the end of December.
The statement went on to say that part-time staffing has also been significantly reduced.  Retirement benefits have been reduced for new employees, and health benefits have been modified for some employees.  Additional changes in the City’s benefits structure are currently being considered.
The city declared a fiscal emergency this past February 14th claiming then that “anticipated revenue growth and recent cuts may not be enough to prevent deeper and more severe cuts to essential services that the community relies on for its health and safety.”
The city also claims that it has identified $67,250,193 that is needed for infrastructure repair and replacement.
The recent fiscal declaration paved the way for the City Council to recently approve placing a sales tax increase measure on the ballot this November, the first in the city’s history.
If approved, the one percent increase would last for five years.

 

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