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Seniors protest O.C. social service cuts

March 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
About 60 senior citizens and their supporters rallied Tuesday outside a meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, protesting the recent layoffs of 200 social service employees. About a third of those workers were assigned to senior services. The result of the cutbacks has been a greatly increased caseload for the remaining workers.

A spokesman for the Orange County Employees Assoc. told the gathering that some social workers have caseloads as high as 400. Frank Barbaro, chair of the Orange County Democratic Party [speaking as a private citizen] said "the very people that are being released from county employment are the ones that are the last line of defense for our senior citizens"

Organizers also complain that the supervisors enjoy 21 million dollars in annual "perks," including car allowances and gasoline, while reducing vital services to seniors.

The group then went inside the supervisors meeting, where they voiced their grievances.

Board Chair Patricia Bates said the supervisors are working hard to address the issue of maintaining services for seniors, at the same time trying to cope with the economic challenges facing the county.


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