BIG MONEY

Ignoring the pleas of their own staff
liaison to the county’s Human Services Commission, the Board of
Supervisors delayed for at least another month nonprofit
applications for county funds. Supervisors Brooks Firestone and
Joni Gray first want to examine why it cost $300,000 in staff time
and other overhead to disburse some $1.2 million in funds, while
Salud Carbajal and Joe Centeno want to explore the possibility of
using all the funds for children’s medical insurance. Susan Rose
voted to move the application process forward.

Even as County Mental Health is forced to
cut back on core programs due to a revenue shortfall, Proposition
63 – the voter-approved tax hike on wealthy individuals for mental
health services – is granting the department $5 million for new
programs, including bringing health services to clients instead of
making clients travel to the mental health campus, located near the
jail.

The county will spend $275,000 of State Homeland Security Grant
Program funds to buy a second bomb squad truck and $220,000 on
three communications towers. The lightweight, easily transportable
towers – which can be used in any emergency, including a terrorist
attack – will enable various emergency response agencies to
communicate with each other directly instead of transmitting
messages through a series of dispatchers.

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