ALAMEDA COUNTY//BUDGET | A proposal to close an $80 million budget shortfall in Alameda County includes cuts to the safety net and one-time only savings from previous budget years. County employee will also receive a cost-of-living increase for the first time in five years.
The budget forecast was bolstered by increased sales tax revenues and a nearly 4 percent rise in assessed land value. Foreclosures are also down 44 percent, while the county’s median home values are up 30 percent. Unemployment in Alameda County, currently at 7 percent, has also dropped below the statewide average of 8.5 percent. However, many county residents are still hurting economically.
“At the same time,” says Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi, “caseloads of many of our categorical aid programs that provide safety net services to families, adults, and children are increasing and continue to be far above historic long-term levels.”
The county’s $2.7 billion 2013-14 Fiscal Year budget likely to be approved by the board June 28 includes $25.5 million in cuts to health care, $19.9 million to general government, $18.1 million to public protection and $16.7 million to public assistance. Despite the shortfall, the $80.2 million deficit is the lowest since the Great Recession began in 2008. Layered over the proposal cuts to close the county’s shortfall are one-time strategies representing 60 percent of cuts mostly in the form of net savings carried over from previous fiscal years.
Over $15 million of the cost savings in county health care, the largest percentage of cuts in the proposed budget, come from previous net savings. However, it also includes $1.1 million in reductions for indigent care at Alameda Health System, formerly the Alameda County Medical Center and support for community-based organizations. The elimination of 3.42 vacant FTEs is also proposed.
For net cost savings in public assistance, the proposed budget seeks to cutting 40 already vacant child welfare worker positions and $400,000 from projected caseload declines in adoptions and foster care. At the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, a $1.1 million reduction in discretionary operating costs generated costs savings to the budget. The department also added $2.6 million in revenue by contracting its services to outside agencies.
The county’s nearly 9,200 employees not only received wage increases, but also add 66 full-time equivalent jobs. The budget also maintains a pledge made last December by the Board of Supervisors to offer most county workers increased COLAs. The terms were previously negotiated into various employee labor contracts.
Although, the local economy is showing signs of great improvement and the county budget escaped crippling triple-digit shortfalls for the second consecutive fiscal year, there remains uncertainty, says Muranishi. A federal budget is yet still unresolved as Democrats and Republicans squabble over sequestration cuts. The proposed budget will also set aside $12 million into a discretionary funds to cover any changes stemming from uncertainties due to realignment, pending litigation and the Affordable Care Act, slated to ramp up implementation next January.
The Board of Supervisors will hold additional hearings June 25-26, 1:30 p.m. in chambers with final deliberations June 27 at 11:00 a.m. The budget is scheduled to be adopted June 28, 1 p.m.
To Anonymous – By MW:
Man, you got to lay off that crackpipe!
Certain sections of Alameda County government – and especially in the DA's office, County Counsel's office, and among the management of the Public Works Agency – are extremely top heavy with people whose primary function is perpetuating lies and engaging in the necessary and obligatory phony, scripted, and choreographed “investigations” so as to “prove,” substantiate, and give a “foundation” and “basis” for their previous lies and garbage.
In other words, their “investigations” consist of first deciding in advance what they want the conclusion to be, and then engaging in any necessary lies, frauds, and coverups – but which they pretend are legitimate investigations – so as to “prove” and “substantiate” the original lies, garbage, and nonsense they had already been foisting upon the public.
Alameda County could not only save considerable money by laying those jokers off, but furthermore those jokers are such extreme detriments to a healthy and properly functioning society, that therefore our county government would be much better off getting rid of those jokers even if they agreed to work for free.
Still furthermore there is now such an extreme over supply of lawyers, that therefore a Boston area law firm by the name of “Gilbert & O'Bryan” had only a few openings, and yet received over thirty applications from lawyers looking for a job, and even though it openly and loudly advertised a starting salary of only ten thousand dollars a year, in other words less than minimum wage, AND WHICH IS STILL FAR MORE THAN MOST LAWYERS ARE WORTH.
So Alameda County could greatly reduce the amount of money it spends on its lawyers' salaries by only paying its lawyers what they are actually worth, and rather than salaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
NOTE: For anyone who wants to check out the situation in regard to Gilbert & O'Bryan. just type in such search terms as of course “Gilbert & O'Bryan” and then followed by the search term “Get Your $10,000,” and then you can read articles describing how extremely desperate a lot of lawyers are to find even any job.
However that does not necessarily mean that spending the time and money to go to law school is a waste, since if your four primary goals are to become: one, a parasite; two, a scumbag; three, a professional pathological liar; and four a drunk and a drug addict – then you should definitely go to law school.
Trying to smell like a rose but a lot of personnel shifting and hatchet men approved by BOS to cut out talented workers and replace with lower paid less effective people while at the same time cut out good service to needy constituents. Why does everyone fall for the phony schmoozer in a suit espoused to a bankster type? Look at the BofA scary banners! Muranishi and Ahern's salaries should be SECOND on the chopping block (if not altogether) after the DRONE? They didn't approve that did they – tell me NO !!