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CAL CITY CUTS: Fire chief, city clerk fired

Fire chief Kosick, city clerk Chavez fired as California City braces for end of special parcel tax in June
Posted at 8:22 PM, Mar 27, 2024

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (KERO) — Jeremy Kosick fired as fire chief; Socorro Chavez terminated as city clerk, California City announces during council meeting.

  • In this video, Cal City acting city manager Latisha Lamberth says new job is chaotic after special parcel tax fails on March ballot.
  • Socorro Chavez, who was fired as city clerk, says she hopes the new city clerk receives help and training.
  • Mayor Kelly Kulikoff also said there is a million-dollar shortfall from the closure of the prison and no contract extended, adding to the financial woes.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Terminations in California City...

Officials say it's the result of budget shortfalls... and could be a sign of things to come.

I'm Steve Virgen your neighborhood reporter...

As a result... the Cal City fire chief and city clerk were both let go...

The announcement was made during Tuesday night's city council meeting.

“It’s been chaotic with Measure A not passing.”

That’s Latisha Lamberth talking about her first two weeks as Cal City’s acting city manager.

She’s been tasked with making cuts.

Jeremy Kosick was fired as fire chief and Socorro Chavez was let go as city clerk with the Measure C special tax ending in June.

“Because Measure A not passing, there have been some hard decisions directed by the council to cut the budget. And I’m responsible in carrying out their wishes,” Lamberth said.

The fire chief’s salary was about $250,000 per year, which includes benefits, while the city clerk’s salary was about $140,000 per year.

Kosick could not be reached for comment.

Chavez declined to answer questions but offered a statement via phone as she now lives in Lancaster.

“Whoever is taking on the responsibility of taking on the City Clerk job I truly hope that they give the person the help that the role deserves and the training it needs.”

She says she’ll dress up as a bunny at an Easter event at Central Park on Saturday.

Virgen: “More budget cuts are expected to come?”

Lamberth: “Absolutely.”

Measure A, the special tax on the March primary ballot failed earlier this month, and with it, more than $5 million in projected revenue to help fund general services, including police and fire.

Mayor Kelly Kulikoff also said there is a million-dollar shortfall from the closure of the prison and no contract extended.

“We’re just dealing with old problems, trying to get new solutions, and it’s kind of tough when we don’t have the money there," Kulikoff said.

The current special tax did not pass previously.

Most city staff want a similar measure to be on the November ballot. I'm Steve Virgen, your neighborhood reporter.


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