REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Mateo County Manager John L. Maltbie today unveiled a recommended budget of $1.83 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year that would eliminate 234 positions, pushing the total number of eliminated positions to more than 700 over the past four years.
“We have taken great steps toward improving our efficiency and targeting our services more effectively than ever before,” Maltbie said. “Still, we cannot escape certain cutbacks due to the many demands placed on our organization.”
Despite the elimination of 234 positions, the total budget will grow from $1.756 billion in the current fiscal year to $1.836 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The primary reasons for the growth are a number of capital projects:
• $44.2 million budgeted for the first phase of planning and construction of a 576-bed jail to replace the aging and outdated Women’s Correctional Center and to relieve chronic overcrowding in men’s facilities
• $9.7 million for tenant and seismic improvements to Circle Star South, one of two towers located at the recently purchased Circle Star Plaza, with the South tower to house County departments, including Public Safety Communications (9-1-1 Dispatch)
• $2 million for improvements on the Alpine Trail along Alpine Road between Menlo Park and Portola Valley
• $2 million to assume responsibility and maintenance of the Devil’s Slide trail once the highways is abandoned by the state when the Highway 1 bypass tunnel opens
Additional funding is provided in the 2012-13 Recommended Budget for the following:
• $2.7 million to supervise inmates who were previously sent to state prison under a state-funded initiative called Public Safety Realignment
• $17.1 million for the operating loss and to transition clients from the Burlingame Long-Term Care facility to other suitable housing
• $3.4 million to provide Sheriff’s patrol services to the City of Millbrae, a contracted service paid for by the city
• $1.5 million for negotiated salary and benefit increases
Since 2008, labor groups and unrepresented employees have partnered with the County by agreeing to a host of salary and benefit cutbacks. The modest $1.5 million increase in salary and benefits countywide is mainly for step increases for certain employees and negotiated raises for nurses.
The Recommended Budget assumes the passages of Measures T, U and X in June and negotiating labor agreements that result in lower salary and/or benefits costs.
The recommended cutbacks for the coming year include $1.1 million in efficiency measures from Information Services, $1.1 million by eliminating a fire engine company at Tower Road near San Mateo and $2.7 million in cutbacks at San Mateo Medical Center unrelated to the Burlingame Long-Term Care transition.
In his budget message, Maltbie calls for a fundamental restructuring of the County’s organization in the year ahead to improve overall efficiency and service to the public.
“By the end of FY 2012-13 the County will have eliminated a net of 766 positions or about a one-sixth of its work force. While there is some improvement in the local economy and stabilizing of revenues the County still faces many financial challenges,” Maltbie said.
“We can no longer assume that what once worked well will work well in the future. Help will not be forthcoming from Washington, D.C. or Sacramento. I am convinced that the only way forward is to remake the organization in a way that will provide financial stability and flexibility to meet the uncertainties ahead of us,” he said.
This budget proposal is the first step in a weeks-long process that includes public hearings before the Board of Supervisors. Hearings are scheduled to begin on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 9:00 am in the Board Chambers, located in the Hall of Justice, 400 County Center, Redwood City, California.
The Recommended Budget is available for viewing at www.smcgov.org/budget and in the County Manager’s Office, 400 County Center, Redwood City.
Jim Saco, Budget Director, 650-363-4439
Marshall Wilson, Communications Director, 650-363-4153 or 650-464-2899