The virtual elimination of sheriff’s deputies on patrol. The closure of the Sacramento County Boys Ranch, a treatment facility for juvenile offenders. And deep cuts to mental health, senior services and Child Protective Services. All those – and more – on Interim County Executive Steven Szalay’s list of proposed cuts.
Szalay: “This is a sad day in the history of Sacramento County.”
The budget gap stands at $180 million. But Szalay says he can cover about a third of that from savings and one-time funds. Labor concessions could produce nearly $70 million more, but unions have conceded nothing so far. And as for the rest?
Szalay: “It’ll come from budget cuts. It’ll come from program reductions to the expenditure side of the budget. And it’s in virtually every department.”
One department that isn’t getting cut any more is the county assessor. Szalay says that’s because the assessor generates property tax revenue – funds the county desperately needs.
Sheriff: Hostage Situation Shows Impact of Budget Cuts
Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness says the impact of last year’s budget cuts on his department was crystal clear during Thursday's hostage incident. He told us by phone in the early afternoon that the few deputies on duty at the time were stretched thin.
McGinness: “Right now, as we speak, we have six patrol units in the entire unincorporated county of Sacramento. We’re working an active hostage situation on Arden Way. And we don’t have the resources necessarily to effectively police this county as it is now.”
The hostage situation was ongoing as of Thursday evening and involves a one-year-old child. An officer saw the boy through the window earlier Thursday afternoon, and the child appeared to be unharmed.
Last year’s budget cuts forced the county to lay off 120 sheriff’s deputies. That sharply reduced the number of deputies on patrol. This year’s proposed cuts would go further.
County Budget Hearing Schedule
Monday - 9:30am
Clerk of the Board
County Executive Office
Correctional Health Services
Countywide Services Agency
Municipal Services Agency
Animal Care (no earlier than 2pm)
Regional Parks (no earlier than 2pm)
Internal Services Agency
Tuesday - 2:00pm
Bielenson Hearing (Reductions to the County Meidcally Indigent Services Program)
Health and Human Services
Wednesday - 2:00pm
In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority
Transient Occupancy Tax
Deliberations start Wednesday afternoon and could stretch into hearings on Thursday and Friday at 9:30am as needed. The Board of Supervisors will vote upon conclusion of the deliberations.