Supervisors to discuss SLO County budget during hearings

The County Government Center in San Luis Obispo.
The County Government Center in San Luis Obispo. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has scheduled three days of budget hearings starting Monday, but it is unlikely that much time will be needed.

The hearings are the first of two opportunities for the board to discuss and possibly make changes to the county’s proposed $525 million budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The hearings will be broken into two phases. The first will start at 9 a.m. Monday. County Administrator Dan Buckshi will give an overview, and supervisors will have a chance to discuss the budget department by department, if they choose.

Two full days have been set aside for this process. However, it is highly unlikely that much time will be needed, said Christi Gutierrez, county administrative services officer.

“We are expecting that we will be done by noon on Monday and not go into Tuesday,” she said. “There was one year recently when we were done in 45 minutes.”

The public will have opportunities to give general public comment as well as comment specifically about the budget on Monday.

The second phase begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, when the board will consider its annual contributions to outside agencies. This phase typically attracts more public participation.

“These are funds for outside agencies so people will come up and state their case,” Gutierrez said.

The budget contains $1.6 million in grant funds that are proposed to be spread between 48 nonprofit organizations. The two biggest recipients of this largess are the county Food Bank Coalition and the SLO Noor Foundation with each getting $100,000. The Noor Foundation is a free medical clinic in San Luis Obispo that serves uninsured residents.

Supervisors also have $26,000 each available for community grants within their districts.

Supervisors are tentatively scheduled to formally adopt the budget June 17, Gutierrez said.