WEATHER »

Counting the County Coin

Proposed Budget Numbers Released


Santa Barbara County’s proposed 2013-2014 budget ​— ​an $844.5 million operating plan ​— ​was released last week. The Board of Supervisors will deliberate over the document in June. There is $8.3 million in service-level reductions built into the proposed budget. By 2014-2015, the deficit will jump to $13.7 million. Staffing levels this coming fiscal year are supposed to drop by 32.5 positions. While the number of positions in the county has dropped by nearly 600 since 2007-2008, the average cost per employee has increased each year.

This coming fiscal year, public safety positions cost an average of $153,200 per employee, while non–public safety employees average $114,300 each. This year, the biggest proposed reductions come in the Public Health Department, which is looking at $2.4 million in service-level cuts. Also on the chopping block are the Probation Department’s gang-intervention program, seven custody deputy staffers at the Sheriff’s Department, along with a reduction in the Aviation Unit’s budget.

With this budget, CEO Chandra Wallar explained, “We have become an organization poised to navigate toward a stable future with a sustainable level of service.” Just two budget cycles ago, the county was dealing with a $72 million budget deficit, by far the largest in recent memory. Last year’s budget deficit was $15 million. Tuesday, county staff told the board the county’s general fund had a projected net positive variance of $5.5 million at the end of March, an improvement of the second-quarter estimate of just $80,000.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Morning Train Runs On Time and Roomy

Twelve weeks after start of commuter service, train is less than half full.

Alleged Butane Honey Oil Dealer Arrested

Dylan Sulit-Swalley was paroled from Pelican Bay State Prison last year.

Crying Children Audibly Illustrate Border Crisis

Inhumane separation of families protested by everyone from Melania Trump to Xavier Becerra.

Two Injured in Alleged DUI Collision

Pedestrians, ages 91 and 50, were walking near Linden Avenue at Ninth Street in Carpinteria.

Carpinterians Gather to Protest Border Policy

'Families are the building block of our entire society,' said Carpinteria Mayor Fred Shaw.