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FROM THIS EPISODE

Last week, the City of Costa Mesa revealed a proposal to cut the salaries of most of its employees by five percent, make them contribute five percent more toward their pensions, and suggested a further five-percent cut to upper-level workers. Union representatives called the offer "offensive," but mayor Jim Righeimer — who has been trying to diminish the power of public-employee unions for more than a decade and tried to force the layoffs of many Costa Mesa workers a couple of years ago — insists it makes fiscal sense. Who to believe?

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