Some were crying because they were fired. Some were crying with relief because they were not.
But county employees who survived the 40 layoffs in county government Monday still waited for the other shoeto drop yesterday.
A television newscast Monday night indicated that this was only the first of many layoffs County Executive Charles I. Ecker was planning.
The newscast was in error, Ecker said yesterday. He said he plans no more layoffs in the coming fiscal year budget, and he would like to avoid layoffs for the remainder of his term.
Ecker had said during the campaign that county government had grown too fat. Yesterday, he said the trimming he had done was "about right."
"They wereall good employees" who could tell "horror stories" about what this means to them, Ecker said of the 40 people he fired. But to wait for attrition to reduce the size of the payroll in the coming budget was "too risky," he said.
In county parlance, it was not people who were laid off but "functions" that were discontinued -- 18 in public works, five in the administration, seven in citizen services, four general services, three in recreation and parks and one each in finance, fire services, the department of inspections, licenses and permits.
The fire services employee was not a firefighter, county officials said. Five of the 40 were part-time employees and three were seasonalemployees in the Parks and Recreation Department. Eight had been bumped by employees with more seniority.