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This special BOS session was dedicated to the review of our 2022/2023 County Budget. Here are the notes I took during the meeting. Please understand that this is not meant to be a comprehensive documentation of discussions and decisions that took place.

Craig Goodman (consultant) & Suzie Hawkins led the budget presentation.  Discussion included public comments, technical questions, and supervisor discussions.

  • Craig Goodman described this as a challenging year with departments uniformly in need of more funding than our revenues can support
  • The total budget is approximately $141 million
  • Only 9% of total funds are discretionary.  Many sources of funding have limits to how they are used.
  • 33.9% of the Total Budget is Salaries & Benefits
  • 17% of general fund revenue comes from charges for current services
  • 50% of general fund revenue comes from taxes
  • Due to funding limitations, Craig Goodman cautioned the board to not approve new positions without strongly considering the elimination of a position to offset the related costs.
  • This budget includes $550,000 for contingencies. No general fund reserve (other than contingency funds mentioned above) for emergencies
  • We currently have a $44.7 million liability related to pension/benefits (additional funding required to be fully funded).  This was closer to $60 million three years ago.
    • OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) – health benefits that current active employees will receive as retirees.
    • CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System)
    • In recent years, our trust balance (that funds OPEB) improved from $500,000 to $10 million
  • We have experienced steady increases (over recent years) in general fund expenditures
  • $3.15 million cash balance from the prior year is helping to cover the initial $6 million shortfall identified in the budget development process
  • Debt Services is in good shape (compared to past years) with total payments of $724,404
    • 2025 is the target year for retiring (paying off) major sources of debt
  • Revenue Opportunities
    • Fee Study to determine if fees should be adjusted – targeting the 2nd November BOS Meeting
    • TOT will be on the ballot in November (estimated $250,000 annually)
  • Important to develop a plan to address the net pension obligation (funds needed to fully fund the pension program)
  • Considering employing a collections service to obtain outstanding fines and fees

Wishlist Items – Jill Cox invited Department Heads to share their “wishlist” items.  Members of staff conveyed appreciation for the board’s interest and for the opportunity to present their ideas.

  • Facilities
    • Increased staffing to cover vacations, etc
    • Business Continuity Plans needed to guide the county during emergency that impacts the county
    • Security Training for staff (cyber security, etc)
    • Equipment Purchase/Upgrade Plan
  • Sheriff
    • Animal Shelter
    • Jail Staffing
    • Patrol Staffing
    • Admin Staffing
    • Patrol Vehicles
    • Body Cams
    • Admin Facility
    • Total estimate of wishlist – $12 million
  • Treasury
    • Staff & Training
    • Enhanced Tool Set
    • $80,000 not funded in the budget
  • Planning
    • Economic Development Division Funding $200,000
  • Human Resources
    • Offering purpose and growth opportunities
  • Assessor/Elections
    • Staff
  • Environmental Health
    • Technology Upgrades
    • Staff – no proactive efforts at this time due to limitations
    • Scan documents to make them more accessible for all departments
  • AG Department
    • Equipment
    • Staffing & Training
    • Travel Funds
  • Auditor
    • Staff
    • Workflow Process Improvements
    • Technology Updates
  • Probation
    • Stronger County Infrastructure to support hiring, onboarding,
    • Process Improvement regarding policies, processes
    • Staff
  • Overall
    • Technology & Training to increase productivity, efficiency, quality, job satisfaction, etc.
    • Local Economy initiatives that will then generate new opportunities and revenues
    • Strong County Vision and Follow Through on ideas

Cannabis – time was set aside at the request of Keith Groves to dig into this part of our budget in greater detail

    • 14 budgeted positions, 10 filled, 2 more near being filled
    • $450,000 – Consultant expenses in 2020/2021
      • The same amount of consultant expenses is included in the budget for 2022/2023
    • $250,000 – Staff supported by grant funding in 2021/2022
    • Grant Total $3.3 million (California grant to support completion of the licensing process related to environmental impact studies/reporting)
      • $2.64 million (80%) received to date
      • $695,323 spent to date
      • $1.94 million balance (of the amount received)
      • $600,000 – The remaining (20%) of the grant to be distributed in 2025
      • Seeking readjustment of grant fund allocation to cover more consulting costs and less staffing (we spent more on consultants than planned due to lack of staff in 2021/2022)
    • Budgeted Revenue reflects $2.16 million from permits.
      • This is likely greatly overstated
        • This is based on 432 permits at $5,000
          • Note – there are not that many current applications
          • Note – applicants currently in the process have already paid $2,500 of the $5,000
    • $2 million in fines, judgments owed to the County
    • Staff directed to reduce income by $1 million and present appropriate cost reductions.
    • Staff also to look into the ability to allocate more (accelerate the use of) the grant funding to cover costs associated with the processing of applications

Final Budget Review – The final budget review is scheduled for 9.30.22.

CD Hall – Jill Cox highlighted the importance of public input to support efforts to receive grant funding.  There are only two CD Halls in the State.  The review of grant proposals includes emphasis on the level of public support.

I hope these notes are helpful in your efforts to stay informed about county matters.

For a more comprehensive understanding of what took place, you can watch any portion of the meeting on YouTube with this link.

For more information regarding BOS meetings, agendas, and related materials, use this link –


Sharing Information | Encouraging Engagement