Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May Revise Will Impact Alameda County's $88 Million Budget Shortfall

May 15, 2012 | These were already tough times even before more sobering news came Monday that Gov. Jerry Brown’s May revise will raise the state’s budget deficit to nearly $16 billion. Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson says there will likely be “additional impacts to the county budget,” as well. The county is currently looking to shore up an $88.1 million funding gap by the end of this June.

SHORT-TERM LOAN FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT The San Leandro Unified School District is also struggling and will continue to do so under threat of more cuts to education. The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a request to allow for up to $8 million in state tax deferral notes. Essentially it allows the school district, which laid of 39 teachers last month, despite the presence of financial reserves, to borrow against future revenues due from the state, much like a short-term loan.

COUNTY PAY RAISES COMING NEXT YEAR Despite the tough budget news, the Board of Supervisors announced new contracts with its county employee unions. Supervisor Nate Miley said public employees should see salary increases next year. That’s not just happy rhetoric. Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi said it is in the process of drafting a memorandum of understanding regarding future raises. In nearly every city in the county, public employees have gone on average five years without pay raises. It’s a refrain heard quite often and with a glimmer of good economic news trickling in every month, those streaks appear ready to end in the next year.

NON-PROFIT IN THE NEWS GETS FUNDING A Safe Place, the Oakland domestic violence center detailed last week in a story about assembly candidate Joel Young and his problems with falsifying campaign endorsement, got some good news Tuesday. Carolyn Russell’s non-profit received $15,000 by the Board of Supervisors for CalWORKS employment and support services. Six other groups also split the $175,000 allotment.

TEASING CARSON For the second consecutive meeting the subject of Supervisor Keith Carson's dancing ability was mentioned. Two weeks ago, while awarding a proclamation to a trio of Oakland jazz musicians, Carson referenced his own hip-hop dance moves. On Tuesday, a scheduling mistake precluded dancers celebrating Asian cultural awareness in the county from performing for the board. Supervisor Scott Haggerty needled his colleague, asking if Carson could perform instead.


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