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TC Supervisors Narrowly Dismiss District Attorney’s Plan To Lock Door

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Sonora, CA — Three of the five Tuolumne County Supervisors were against a plan, as submitted, by District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke to close her office to the public unless an appointment is made ahead of time.

Click here to read an earlier story.  

DA Jenecke stated that her office was forced to reduce its budget by 2.97% this fiscal year and it is no longer feasible to assign someone to the front desk. Community members could still make an appointment for an in-person visit, or speak with a representative on the telephone, or online. She noted that between 50-100 people stop into the office on a given week. Jenecke added that while many county departments have grown in recent years, her office has not seen increases in staffing, whether it be attorneys, advocates, or support members.

Citing the challenging budget times, Board Chair Kathleen Haff and District Five Supervisor Jaron Brandon both voiced support for the concept, at least on a one-year trial basis.

Brandon noted with recent increases in deputy pay, increased fire responsibilities, and road needs, there is “not enough money to do all of the things” desired in the county.

Supervisors Anaiah Kirk, Ryan Campbell and David Goldemberg were all opposed, but indicated that they are open to a modified proposal, which could include reduced hours. Goldemberg pointed out that none of the other county offices are closing their doors, and Kirk stressed the importance of public safety in the community.

Campbell asked what it would cost to add an administrative office worker, and Jenecke responded that it would be around $68,000. Campbell said the county should reassess how it can fund the position. He said closing the office was a non-starter for him.

By a majority consensus of the board, the issue was postponed to a future meeting so that Jenecke can meet with county staff and see if a revised proposal can be developed, and so that the county can also explore options.