County to Use Short-Term Fix to Avoid Public Safety Cuts
Probation officers at work (CPR file)
Sacramento County supervisors face yet another round of mid-year budget decisions Tuesday, this time for the sheriff, district attorney and probation departments. But they hope to avoid drastic cuts to public safety – in the short term.
Monday, March 2, 2009
By now, it’s a broken record: taxes are coming in far below expectations, and departments have to bridge what’s now a $27 million gap. But the county’s Nav Gill says the shortfall comes so late and is so steep that if all the mid-year cuts were made now …
Gill: “We would be seeking almost one year’s worth of cuts in one quarter.”
For example, that’d mean an end to supervision of adults on probation, and sharp reductions in sheriff’s deputies on patrol.
So officials want to borrow from departments that have extra savings stored away, like funds for construction projects that won’t start anytime soon. The county’s Keith DeVore:
DeVore: “The types of funds that are being transferred are funds that won’t be needed in the short-term.”
In the meantime, top administrators and Supervisor Roger Dickinson want the sheriff and other departments to use these transfers as a grace period to figure out how to cut their costs. The county’s deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1st will likely top $100 million.