Statement: “When you’re laying off 600 people at the county board and not providing services when your charge is to provide services for those who are most in need … I think something is wrong with the system,” Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, said on the KPBS program These Days, advocating term limits for the county supervisors.
Analysis: Gonzalez repeats a common problem we find in the Fact Check Blog. For example, previously, the city cut around 200 positions from its budget. But a significantly fewer number of employees were actually laid off. Several officials missed that important distinction, so we corrected them.
Now, the county has proposed similar cuts to resolve its budget gap and they include eliminating 592 positions. Most of those positions are vacant and again, a significantly fewer number of employees are expected to be laid off. County officials have estimated that figure at fewer than 50 workers.
So when Gonzalez implied that the county might lay off 600 workers, she was wrong. Unlike media reports that used crafty language like “cut nearly 600 jobs” to describe the reductions, Gonzalez used the straightforward but incorrect phrase “laying off.”
Gonzalez acknowledged the error Friday, but said her point was still the same: “Their priorities are wrong.”
On KPBS, Gonzalez criticized the county’s neighborhood grants program. She suggested the controversial program should be changed before workforce or service reductions happen. (A full transcript of the KPBS program is available here.)
We should also note that Gonzalez actually beat us to publishing this Fact Check by expressing her own lament on her Facebook page Sunday night.
I am on the losing end of a Voice of San Diego fact check, because I said in a debate that the county had layed (sic) off 600 people, when they actually eliminated 600 jobs. I admit it. I was mistaken and so I have spent all weekend dreading what Pinocchio I will get. They should have one that says ‘honest mistake.’
Now that would be some crafty language.
— KEEGAN KYLE