San Luis Obispo County supervisors on Tuesday adopted a budget for next year that is slightly higher than this year’s, after adding $1.19 million during three days of budget hearings.
The final amount for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is more than $450 million. That is up by several hundred thousand dollars from the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The budget was the fourth adopted by supervisors in what they call a “seven-year pain plan.” They and county administrators have carefully watched expenditures and have become increasingly frugal, especially as the state’s contribution to the county budget remains unknown.
The only area of contention this year was the contribution to Community Health Centers, which the county sliced by $800,000.
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Among the other changes:
Visitors and Conference Bureau, adds $90,000;
Planning and Building, adds $139,137 and one full-time position;
Child Support Services, cut by $103,093 “to reflect the reduced use of DA Investigator services”;
North County Connections and Cambria Connections, adds $7,500 to each to bring the total for each to $20,000;
Central Coast Ag Network, adds $5,000.
The $800,000 that supervisors removed from the contribution to the Community Health Centers remains out of the budget. The county and the health center network will negotiate to ensure that nobody “falls through the safety net.”
The county workforce went down by 1 percent, or 24 workers, from 2,407 to 2,382. All but seven of the positions are vacant.
Supervisors rejected a suggestion from Mike Brown of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business that they did not spend enough time on their large budget.
In fact, supervisors said, preparing the budget is virtually a year-round project. The county administrator’s office, under County Administrative Officer Jim Grant and Assistant County Administrator Dan Buckshi, gives the board quarterly reports that are discussed at public meetings.
Similarly, they noted, the board has regular “strategic planning” sessions, open to the public.