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Counting the County Coin

Proposed Budget Numbers Released


Thursday, May 16, 2013
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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.

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

I thought we were building a new north county jail!!! Now we are cutting seven custody deputy positions??? Say it ain't so!! Come on you Bill Brown supporters what the heck is going on here?? Were spending $90M to build while were cutting staff?? I know I'm not a rocket scientist but we have been told we need to hire 60 to 90 custody deputies to run this new jail. How does cutting staff mean more??

Priceless (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 8:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"By 2014-15 the deficit will jump to $13.7 million"
CEO Chandra Wallar explained, “We have become an organization poised to navigate toward a stable future with a sustainable level of service.”

What am I missing?

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wallar gets a good chunk of that $13.7 million just to come up with these puzzles BeachFan.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2013 at 11:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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