|Recommended Sutter County Budget for Fiscal Year 2012-2013
|June 13, 2012
|One library branch may be spared as Board sets Budget Hearings, orders layoff notices to four Sutter County employees
The Sutter County Board of Supervisors directed layoff notices be sent to four County employees after the
presentation of the 2012-2013 Recommended Budget at its meeting Tuesday.
Two layoffs were averted. A tentative deal was announced between Brown School and Sutter
County to keep the Rio Oso branch library open to the public on a limited basis, so a
layoff notice was not sent to any library staff.
Another layoff was averted when a senior office assistant in Community Services announced
retirement, saving the job of a less senior co-worker.
The Board of Supervisors set Budget Hearings for 9 a.m. on Monday, June 25, and Tuesday,
June 26 at Veteran's Hall, 1425 Veterans Memorial Circle, Yuba City. Additional hearing
days may be called if necessary.
Although Sutter County remains in better financial condition than many inland California
counties, General Fund revenues are stagnant.
The Pleasant Grove and Rio Oso branch libraries would close to the public, the
main library in Yuba City would close one hour earlier during weeknights, the Sutter
and Live Oak library branch hours would be reduced by eight hours per week each, and
the Community Memorial Museum would reduce public hours by eight hours per week
under the Recommended Budget.
The budget recommendations include eliminating four filled positions and freezing
funding for 60 vacant positions.
General Fund revenues, which rely largely on property and sales tax, have been declining
since the recession began in 2008, and are expected to remain stagnant in FY 2012-13. The
Recommended FY 2012-2013 General Fund Budget of $56.9 million is 10 percent below last
year's budget, and 23 percent below the budget for Fiscal Year 2008-2009.
The recommended overall county budget of $247.8 million, which includes both the General
Fund and all county services and programs funded by the state and federal governments,
is actually a 13.4 percent increase from FY 2011-2012—the result of additional state funding
for the Criminal Justice Realignment program, which requires counties to house some
convicted felons in the County Jail rather than state prison.
Sutter County Administrative Officer Stephanie J. Larsen predicted that General Fund
revenues are not likely to improve in the short term. Although California's coastal
counties are seeing modest increases in property values and job creation, inland
counties such as Sutter are still lagging behind the state and the nation economically.
Sutter County's unemployment rate has stayed stubbornly high, rising from 13.4
percent in March 2008 to 22 percent in March 2010, and remaining above 20 percent ever since.
Sales tax revenues increased this year, but that increase was not enough to
overcome another drop in property tax revenues.
Historically, Sutter County has budgeted conservatively, not adding programs and
services in good financial years. This allowed the County to develop a reserve fund
in excess of $25 million—or about 35 percent of the General Fund budget, in
FY 2008-2009. The CAO’s recommended budget includes drawing down an
additional $1.36 million in reserves, leaving a remaining reserve balance of
approximately 14.1% of the recommended General Fund budget.
The six positions recommended for lay-off include an account clerk in the
Auditor-Controller's Office, the executive secretary in the County Administrative Office,
the Assistant Director of Community Services, an office assistant in Community Services,
an office assistant in the Farm Advisor's office, and two half-time library technicians.
The Museum Director/Curator and the Assistant Curator at the Community Memorial Museum
would have their workweek reduced by 20 percent.[More]