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County media and public relations layoffs

May 11, 2010 - 4:12 pm

During today’s meeting, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted, quietly through its consent agenda, to overhaul how the county handles public information, media, video and its website.

With the exception of two employees—the head of public information, Michael Workman, and the chief engineer in charge of the county website—the entire media staff, some 30 staff members including graphic designers and video producers, are receiving layoff notices today. The personnel have the opportunity to compete for 23 newly created jobs, many of them at a lower salary, which means that about half a dozen employees will end up out of work come mid-June.

To read the plan approved by the county, click here.

The county estimates that the reorganization will save taxpayers approximately $840,000.  Currently, various county departments have their own public-information officers and staff; the reorganization will consolidate many of these jobs into the county’s Chief Administrative Office.

Workman says that the public shouldn’t seen a decline in services.

“Hopefully, there will be an improvement in that it’s centralized, with everything being done the same way and using the same tools,” he says. “The increase you’ve seen in the last months with social media and web presence will be sustained and actually increased.”

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