San Diego hiring freeze put in place


An immediate hiring freeze has been imposed in the city of San Diego in an effort to deal with a budget shortfall next fiscal year that is expected to exceed $100 million.

In a memorandum delivered to department directors, Jay Goldstone, the city’s chief operating officer, said the hiring freeze was necessitated by the municipal retirement board’s recent decision to require San Diego to make its full $225 million payment into the pension system next year.

“As such, effective immediately I am imposing a complete and absolute hiring freeze for all vacant general fund supported positions and am requiring all non-general fund departments to limit their hiring to candidates who already work for the city,’’ Goldstone wrote in the memo, dated Monday.

Had the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System board agreed to modify the formula for how the annual pension payment is calculated, it would have cut the city’s pension payment to $193 million.

Last week, Goldstone said the decision will cost the city $32 million and possibly result in the elimination of 300-400 positions.

The hiring freeze extends to all general fund departments, including police and fire, according to Goldstone’s memo.

Any police or fire academies now under way will be completed and those officers and firefighters hired, but all future academies are canceled until further notice, according to Goldstone.