Sonora, CA — Tuolumne County leaders have been tasked with closing a budget shortfall over recent months, and the proposed plan that will go up for vote next month calls for a reduction in staff equivalent to 6.8 employees.
The spending plan for fiscal year 2018-19 was discussed during a special meeting called this morning by the board of supervisors. CAO Craig Pedro stressed that only a single current employee (within the Probation Department) would be laid off and the other reductions come via vacancies and retirements. Departments impacted include the Assessor Recorder, Treasurer-Tax Collector, Probation, Veterans, CRA, Social Services and Roads. Board Chair John Gray thanked Pedro and department heads for crunching the numbers and finding ways to bring the budget within balance.
Pedro noted the budget fully funds ongoing construction of the new jail, the operations of the Juvenile Hall, continues tree mortality projects, funds cannabis enforcement, maintains library and recreation services, invests in IT infrastructure projects and funds completion of the new General Plan.
The preliminary budget will next be discussed during the board meeting on June 5, and then adopted on June 19. It has been a process to reduce the budget deficit. It was initially pegged at $4.2-million after department heads made requests that were adjusted by the CAO in February. Later in April, there was a scenario presented that dropped it to $2.7-million, and today it is projected to be balanced.
A tentative budget must be approved before July 1st, and a final budget, when revenues are better known, will be approved in September. It was noted today that two of the decisions to come in September are whether to increase county funding to ATCAA from the current $24,000 to $50,000, and whether to fund the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance in the amount of $35,000.