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County Budget to Decrease by 2 Percent Next Fiscal Year

Employment will increase by 271 positions despite the decrease in dollars, according to a staff report.

San Diego County will spend nearly 2 percent less in the fiscal year starting July 1, according to a budget presented to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday by the county's chief administrative officer.

Walter Ekard presented the $4.77 billion spending plan to the board, which will begin its budget deliberations June 11.

The spending plan represents a 1.9 percent reduction in spending compared to this year's budget of about $4.86 billion, Ekard said.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob was upbeat.

"This is a smaller budget this year than we've ever had," she said, "and we're doing more with less, and it's because of the creativeness and the innovation and the charge that everyone has at every level to try to do the best that we can to try to provide the services to the folks out there."

Ekard proposed an even tighter budget for FY 2013-14—$4.62 billion.

Overall county employment would increase by the equivalent of 271 positions in the coming fiscal year.

"These positions are being added to provide additional staff to support the county's family resource centers, to address the county's public safety realignment responsibilities, staffing for the new women's detention facility, sworn supervisory staff for the sheriff's patrol stations and additional staff to assist with the timely resolution of residential and commercial assessment appeals," Ekard said.

About $35.8 million in increased funding is included in the FY 2013-14 budget for public safety, including the Sheriff's Department, District Attorney's Office, the Public Defender, Probation and the Medical Examiner.

The Sheriff's Department would grow by 62 positions, and the District Attorney's Office would lose 44, Ekard said.

About $13.6 million in additional funding would go toward supporting animal services, libraries and the Registrar of Voters.

The Health and Human Services Agency's budget would be increased by $9 million, the equivalent of about 176 full-time jobs.

"Safe neighborhoods, healthy families and livable communities, that's what this government's about," Jacob said.

Land Use, which includes Planning and Land Use, Agriculture, Weights & Measures and Parks and Recreation, would get $31 million less than in the current fiscal year.

The budget for financial and general government operations would be reduced by $22.6, mainly because planned technology projects are smaller.

The capital improvement budget would be reduced by $79.1 million less -- a 62 percent drop from the current year, however such expenditures can fluctuate based on scheduling of major projects.

-City News Service

Batman May 10, 2012 at 04:56 AM
It's easy to ride-out the lean times when you're not up to your eyeballs in debt.

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