Tuolumne budget cuts on table

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat /

Labor concessions, service reductions and cutting positions all appear to be on the table as Tuolumne County leaders head into what the chief administrator is predicting to be the last of a string of tough budget years.

County Administrator Craig Pedro at Tuesday's county Board of Supervisors meeting outlined budget cutting strategies his office and department heads could take as they compile the 2013-14 budget in the coming months.

Budget projections show the county will likely face a $3 million-plus shortfall between revenues and spending in the years ahead.

While no decisions or policies were set Tuesday, Pedro indicated tough choices are on the near horizon.

"It's not so slick that it's just this easy formula," he said.

Money-saving options include extending temporary cuts and furlough days as new employee union contracts are negotiated. With shrinking revenues, county employees agreed to between 7 and 14.5 percent in labor concessions over recent years, including five to 15 furlough days a year and cuts to health, pensions and other benefits.

Also discussed was privatizing services currently provided by county government, including information technology, revenue recovery, public defender, library and recreation. Pedro said those are merely examples, and county officials will have to weigh whether privatizing in those areas would be cost effective.

He also said the county needs to review user fees and audit sales and lodging taxes.

Reductions to a county workforce that has already shrunk since the economy tanked in 2008 are on the table as well. He added that administrators will "retain as many positions as possible in order to minimize the impact."

Pedro said one more round of these tough decisions should set a "new normal" for the community and will bring predictability and sustainability to the county government. He also said it will put the board in a position as revenues grow again to plan and prioritize how and where to spend money.

The county typically has a preliminary budget completed in June.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Wednesday May 4, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Body found near Pinecrest


Unidentified human remains were found Thursday in the Pinecrest area. At 5:55 ... more

Agencies eye upgrade for 1970s-era software


Tuolumne County has changed quite a bit since the 1970s, but its ... more

Spring in the Sierras: Dangerous and beautiful


Joseph McHardy ran up the sloping ramp Friday at the top of ... more

A flight to remember


Dozens of pilots from throughout California and surrounding states descended on Columbia ... more

Cal Fire confirms PG&E caused Butte Fire


Bill and Aileen Charamuga said in September they believed they knew exactly ... more