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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti instructed the city’s top managers on Friday to begin preparations for a “potential layoff scenario,” saying such measures may be needed to weather the budget crisis sparked by the outbreak of COVID-19.

In a four-page memo, Garcetti ordered various city managers to identify positions that could be proposed for elimination, examining employee work history and other issues. He also called on the city’s negotiators to work with public employee unions on cost-cutting proposals, including the possible postponement or outright cancellation of previously approved raises.

Garcetti also told department heads he wants them to find ways to cut costs another 3%, saying the city is already tens of millions of dollars below budget for July and August, the first two months of the city’s fiscal year.

“We must take action now to put ourselves in a better position to withstand the financial crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic in our city,” the mayor wrote in his memo, which went to council members and the heads of most city agencies.

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