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The Exodus: 2,400 City of L.A. Employees Prepare to Retire

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A portion of last week's L.A. City Council's discussion about ERIP (Early Retirement Incentive Program) | Recorded/Uploaded by Ron Kaye, who posted more videos of this meeting on his blog.

In about six months time, the city of Los Angeles is going to be leaner, but not necessarily meaner. Faced with a $400-million plus budget deficit this past summer, the Los Angeles City Council embarked on a budget-saving plan to let thousands retire early.

What does that mean? In a City Council meeting last week, the city's Personnel head Maggie Whelan compared the Early Retirement Incentive Program to the city looking like Swiss cheese with the holes previously filled by "sometimes the most people critical to our operation." City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana told the council in November that "we're losing much of the brain trust of the city overnight."

"Overnight" would be an exaggeration, but with about 350 or more people to be deleted off the city's payroll each month--400 are already gone--until a 2,400 in total are retired, it's a relatively fast transition, considering that a large number of positions won't be refilled by younger and cheaper workers.