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Despite Looming $30M Deficit, Santa Monica Employees Get $1.4M in Bonuses

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Though recent projections show that Santa Monica's budget deficit could top $30 million in the coming years, City Manager Rod Gould approved $1.4 million in bonuses for Santa Monica municipal employees, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.Gould believes the big payout, noted to be "far less" than the bonus amounts employees grew "accustomed to" before the current recession hit, "struck the right balance between appropriately rewarding employees who are entitled to bonus consideration under their contracts and helping reign in City Hall's expenses."

Gould then went on to defend his position further:

"We think the great majority of employees recognize how fortunate we are to have avoided layoffs and furloughs, which other cities have not been able to do," he said. "City employees recognize that these are difficult economic times."

Of the top 20 bonus payouts, 13 went to lawyers in the City Attorney's Office. The president of the Santa Monica Municipal Employees Association was not reached for a comment on the bonuses.