On Tuesday, Contra Costa County supervisors shed $50 million more from their general fund budget, into the $90 million slashed since May. The newest round of cuts will require the lay-off of 56 Sheriff’s deputies and 18 deputy district attorneys, the Contra Costa Times reports. But the biggest cuts—about 60 percent--will be to health care and social services.
Some notable highlights:
--The supes wanted to give criminal law and justice jobs priority.
--This means that District Attorney Robert Kochly received some concessions after his—IMHO--grandstanding over how he’d have to stop prosecuting misdemeanors, including DUIs (yeah, like that would ever happen) if he had to make $4.1 million in cuts and lay off 33 prosecutors. It turns out that Kochly will only have to reduce his budget by $1.9 million and lay off 18 attorneys. So that means, the DA’s office will still prosecute “core misdemeanors like DUIs and domestic violence” while revising its thresholds on felony drug cases.
--Sheriff Warren Rupf was somewhat philosophical about the tough budget situation. He’ll lose 56 deputies, a bit better than 70, but he still managed to say “These are impossible times with limited options. I say it all has to go on the table.”
--Health Services Director William Walker decried his own decision to cut $6 million in health care for undocumented adults, a position that received little sympathy of the Sheriff’s deputies union. His attitude: why should deputies lose jobs while health care to undocumented residents even remained the subject of discussion?
--Dr. Jamie Novel spoke at the supervisor’s meeting in opposition to proposed health care cuts for undocumented workers.
--With regard to those county executives fighting for their share of the budget pie, here are their 2008 salaries and rankings in the county pay scale, and some other interesting tidbits about salaries:
… William Walker, $291,574, No. 5 …
…18 of 20 top county earners are doctors and medical directors in the Health Services department …
…Robert Kochly, at No. 42, earned $224,255, but, as I reported earlier, he also earns around an annual pension of around $165,000 from his pre-elected career in the Contra Costa DA’s office …
... Sheriff Warren Rupf, at no. 51, earned $219,902. He also receives around a $198,000 in annual pension from his pre-elected career with the Sheriff’s Department.