Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Alameda County Administrator Expects Triple Digit Deficit

By Steven Tavares

OAKLAND - County department heads spent hours Tuesday explaining the sorry shape of their respective budget forecasts while a dazed Alameda County Board of Supervisors guzzled coffee to stay alert. When it is all added up, the county’s deficit will likely hit “triple digits,” the county administrator said.

While a detailed budget forecast will not be available until April 14, County Administrator Susan Muranishi constructed a less-than-rosy budget scenario seemingly plagued with deepening deficits from the federal level on down.

Last year the Board of Supervisor balanced a record $152.4 million budget shortfall featuring stinging cuts to staff and much-needed social programs. To make matter worse, Muranishi said last year’s deficit was cured with 69 percent of one-time-only funding sources.

Much of the fear for this next fiscal years surrounds a torpid housing market in the Bay Area. Ninety percent of the county’s revenues come from property taxes. With home prices plummeting by a median average of nearly $300,000 over the past three years, there is much to be worried about.

Just a quarter of the county’s revenue, though, is discretionary, said Muranishi. Most of it comes from the state and federal government, but they will not do much to help the situation.

California is struggling to balance a $26 billion shortfall with the possibility rising for an “all cuts” budget after Gov. Jerry Brown ended negotiations with state Republicans last week. News from Washington Tuesday suggests Republicans may also allow a shut down of the federal government this Friday if they don’t secure additional cuts to the deficit from the president.

Tuesday’s early work session is the first of many discussion the board of supervisors will hold over the next two months. They hope to approve a budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year by the end of June.


Big Deal! If 3000 people are off the welfare rolls in Alameda County that's DAMN good thing. Cut more and next year there may be 3000 more people off the welfare rolls.

So, when one of those people denied welfare stab you for your wallet and leave you to die on the street, animal control won't be there to scrap you off the pavement because of budget cuts to their department.

They would have done it regardless, unfortunately that's the real deal.


(Maybe a bit off topic, but)...It's very easy get SSI – just get your child diagnosed with ADHD and make sure that your child is reading 2 years behind. They then will receive $3000 in “in-home services” a month for having a “disabled child”

No wonder there are deficits.

-Nancy (retired educator)

I never buy these tears over property tax declines. They ratched up spending as quick as housing prices boomed, and now that they declined as quickly, now it's budget armageddon. I got an idea, go back to when median home prices were what they are now, dust off that budget, and viola! balanced budget.

"Manny" sees homeless and starving people and says "GOOD!!!!" It seems to warm his heart.

We have over a 10% unemployment rate in the County. In "Manny"'s world, they're all lazy parasites.

What of the disabled, the elderly, those working but not making enough money to afford a decent life for themselves and their families? "I don't care if they suffer or die", says "Manny".

Sarah....Big Bacalao! Who cares about your nonsense?

On some level calling someone a Big Dried Codfish is comedy genius.

I read on Patch that the sheriffs department is going to make cuts, but it didn't say anything about the deficit. Did she get there late or what? I bet Tavares was just there staring at Nadia Lockyer.

You bet your sweet malasada Tavares was staring at Nadia Lockyer.


Nancy makes a valid and interesting comment...I'd be curious why libs like Sarah didn't attack it and call her out.

Nancy you should adopt Manuel--he's disabled.

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