HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) –The City of Hollywood is making up for a 10 million dollar budget shortfall by laying off police officers and other city employees, and forced pay cuts.

In record time, the City Commission voted to lay off 13 police officers and 18 other City employees. That’s roughly 2.5 percent of the entire public workforce in Hollywood.

Every other employee took at least a 7.5 percent pay cut.

Hundreds of people crowded City Hall, including many employees who were laid off.

Many are furious with the Mayor and City Commissioners for a handful of swift votes that took jobs and cut down employee paychecks.

President of the Broward County Police Benevolence Association, Jeff Morana had 8 of the laid off officers stand during his presentation to the Commission.

“I want you to look in their faces and look at their eyes. These are the people who have a gun to their head,” he told Commissioners.

It took less than 5 minutes for the Commission to vote for police officer and general employee layoffs, and forced paycuts- including a 10-percent cut for police, and 12-percent for firefighters. The City declared financial urgency last month, contending with a 10-million dollar budget shortfall.

The officers will be out of work in just a week and a half.

“It’s not fair. Because all we do is wake up every day and put a vest on and a gun on my hip and protect the City,” said Officer Meredith Tisch  with tears in her eyes. Tisch who was among those losing their jobs.

Officer Danielly Deandrade agreed while tears streamed down her face.  She was also laid off. She told CBS4’s Natalia Zea, “I would take any pay cut to be here to stay here. But they don’t care.”

The unions argue the City could use Community Redevelopment Agency money to make ends meet. And they criticize commissioners for spending 600-thousand dollars on refurbishing the City’s water tower. Residents at the meeting, like Stephanie Zedo were also angry.

“We’re afraid to go on the streets now, we don’t have enough police officers out there to cover the City.”

Zea tried to talk to Mayor Peter Bober about his vote, but he declined to comment and rushed toward the door to exit the Commission chambers.

Vice-Mayor Patty Asseff spoke briefly, telling Zea, ” It’s not something any of us wanted to do, but we had to do it, it’s either that or we can’t afford to pay them.”

In a show of solidarity, the Mayor and Commission also voted for a 10-percent pay cut for themselves.  But that’s not calming the unions’ anger. They promise to now take their fight against these cuts, to court.

Comments (9)
  1. Common Sense is Uncommon says:

    All the nice pavers, fancy beach areas, the Art Park, money spent to support a downtown area, and other things both the city and CRA spent money on will be of no value when crime increases and people stay away. Look at the recent robberies where elderly people were beaten. If that was bad now with less police it can happen again once the thugs learn there are less officers out there. Even some businesses many close or move to another city if they get robbed at gun point often enough.

  2. Disgusted citizen says:

    The city commissioners are financially irresponsible. They have effectively required the police to pay for the unnecessary and frivolous “improvements” they have paid for with our tax dollars. The word “contract” has no meaning to them. The Hollywood police department will become the worst in South Florida, when, because of how they are treated, it will become impossible to hire anyone who is qualified, and the only applicants will be those who cannot get a job any where else.

  3. SLinden says:

    Its interesting how the so called ‘commissioners’ think its ok for those who keep our city safe are the ones who need to pay for the errors the commissioners have made, and the errors that they continue to get paid to do. What purpose does it serve to even have city commissioners if they cant properly do their job? I’m sure that with all the pay cuts and lay offs that are being done, none of the commissioners will see a penny missing from their paychecks nor will any of them go job less. Its funny how insignificant the commissioners make it seem when they just go ahead and throw families to the wolves when the bread winner in their family is now without a job because those who spend the cities money wasted all of it and then some. For example, how did it serve any purpose to repaint the Hollywood Water Tower? Wasted millions of dollars for no reason whatsoever, the purpose of the water tower is to be a water tower, not a canvas for artists. Its sad to think that all these innocent people are being punished for the irresponsible actions of those who are responsible for the cities money, especially since the money is wiped out of our(the citizens of Hollywood) bank accounts is the money that we pay and the money they waste! The Commissioners should be the ones losing their jobs, and be replaced with individuals who know what they are doing with the hard earned tax dollars from the citizens within the city.

    1. tina says:

      Agree 100%! those commissioners should be laid off immediately!!

  4. johnny says:

    o.m.g do you know what that means to the residents of Hollywood,fl,,,,more tickets with no warnings…the city is money Hungary then but its even more Hungary now

  5. CAM says:

    WOW 13 Police Officers laid off…REALLY and they are crying? are they not in touch with the rest of the nation? My company has had to lay off 30% of it’s employees and all managment has taken a 10% cut in pay but I understand why they had to do it. These Union Police,Fire and city employees are over paid so they can pay the unions, overstaffed to begin with so there are more employees to pay the unions they waste time and resources on a daily basis (have you ever seen a city crew working?) wow the Police force is and has been corrupt for years just look at their record. and they want us the taxpayers to feel sorry because 13 officers jot laid off? not me no,no,no and ooooo our streets are just not going to be safe because of this? again REALLY? do they think we are that stupid?

    1. BR says:

      What is wrong with you people? We have to stop comparing public safety jobs with private sector jobs. When a store does less business they lower employees’ hours or let them go. We know this. And yes, this is a shame and is devastating to the employee and their families. HOWEVER, when a City has less money, they can’t just lower hours or cut employees. A government is not in the money making business. They cannot close the shop on slow days or only put on a minimum number of staff. The government must operate. The citizens NEED the same services; they NEED the same amount of PROTECTION and SAFETY. The Public Servants are not in the PRIVATE SECTOR. When staffing goes down from cuts, it’s not just the EMPLOYEE and their family that suffers; it’s all the CITIZENS who rely on the services. Sometimes, people don’t realize the services have been cut until they need them…and then it’s too late.