County Supervisors Cut $15 Million in Mental Health, Other Services

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Services affected include mental health, probation and the sheriffs department.
Leslie Benson runs a program that helps low-income adults find protection from preventable diseases.  She’s frustrated about some of the ways the county spends its money.
Benson: “I suggest that you go into the trenches and I suggest you talk to some of the employees within these departments.  They will tell you about flagrant waste.”
Benson gave examples, like the county paying to create a new logo, buying bottled water, and printing glossy color documents instead of in black and white.
Benson: “If we don’t go to black and white and advertise it proudly that this is an austerity measure, then we’re doing something for image and letting people die or letting mental health people walk around.”
But county officials say those are tiny expenses compared to their overall budget.  They also say they have no choice but to make the cuts, since they’re in programs affected by the new state budget.  And they say the slumping economy and the state’s continued struggles probably mean more cuts are on the way.