Supervisor Kathryn Barger Expresses Concern Regarding Board Action That Will Result in More County Spending.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstained from voting on two motions heard by the Board of Supervisors that seek to create two new county departments to serve older adults and economic development. In a report previously requested by the Board of Supervisors regarding the proposed creation of these departments, the Chief Executive Office had yet to finalize the necessary analysis that would indicate its proposed cost and staffing impacts. The detailed analysis, which would include the financial impacts and an assessment of staffing and organizational structure, is due to the Board of Supervisors later this year.
“While I support efforts to readjust and refocus county services where they can have the most impact, we should wait until we have received a detailed analysis to fully understand the fiscal impacts and the required resources and staffing for two new departments,” said Supervisor Barger. “We should continuously strive to better meet the needs of our residents and businesses but must do so in concert with an understanding of the economic well-being of our region and our ability to establish these departments at this time.”
Supervisor Barger voted no on two additional items that sought unrestricted general funds to increase the county’s arts grants and the affordable housing trust fund, totaling more than $10 million in county general fund dollars.
“The county is facing monumental economic upheaval created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting prolonged closures and healthcare costs,” Supervisor Barger continued. “The county should be even more judicious with taxpayers’ dollars and allocate funds accordingly. Unrestricted funds can be used in a variety of ways during this financial crisis, including to close the county’s current budget deficit and minimize future layoffs.“
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