A Westcountry council is to cut 100 jobs as part of a bid to plug a £3.2 million hole in its budget.
Plymouth City Council has asked for voluntary redundancy among its 3,200 staff.
But if there are not enough volunteers by Christmas "then reluctantly we'll have to go on to make compulsory redundancies", admitted Councillor Mark Lowry, cabinet member for finance.
The £3.2m shortfall is on top of £30m the council has to cut from its budget over three years.
"The scale of the cuts we are facing means it is not possible to rule out compulsory redundancies or having to take very tough decisions about the future of our services," Mr Lowry added.
"The public will inevitably see a deterioration in the services they receive. You can't cut by 40% and expect exactly the same level of services."
The job losses will come on top of a 5% cut over the past 12 months, which saw the workforce cut by 195.
The previous year, 240 people left.
The council now employs just over 3,200, not including school staff.
The redundancy packages on the table are the legal minimum, based on length of service, salary and age.
The maximum pay-off is capped at £12,900.
The council is in consultation with unions.