Allow a few seconds for the videos to load, there are almost the entire two days of deliberations captured here plus the final day one hour conclusion, thanking our county staff for their hard work and self congratulation by our elected representatives.
Where your taxpayer money went
The budget has a current $20 million deficit which was balanced in part with $26.8 million taken from the $149 million PG&E settlement stemming from the 2017 wildfires, which was intended to help ensure our future fire safety.
The money will instead be used to greatly increase funding for mental health, substance abuse, homeless services and associated expensive ongoing ‘Watson’ IBM software licensing costs for “ACCESS” bureaucratic systems (an unexpected additional budget cost last week), $920,000 for ‘clearing brush’ and a potential future tax measure to bolster fire services (using PGE fire compensation money to tax citizens further for fire services…), and expansion of bureaucracy by the council for ‘oversight’ of the county’s law enforcement, and also to ‘restore county reserves’ depleted during past fires.
Among items included in Sonoma County’s $2 billion budget:
$2 million: To chip in support for the application for $26 million from the State via ‘project Homekey’ to purchase of Hotel Azura in Santa Rosa and the Sebastopol Inn in Sebastopol for ‘permanent housing for homeless residents’
$355,000: Strengthen support for homeless services
$5.5 million: To expand the mobile support team that responds with law enforcement in cases involving mental health crises
$1.4 million: To boost support for the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Oversight over the next two or three years, including the addition of two attorneys
$20 million: COVID-19 response next year, including expanded testing
$384,000: Food distribution and other senior services
Source: Sonoma County Administrator’s Office
This is early stage information, we will get into the details once we have had a chance to analyze and explore further.
Day Three single closing session
Above are almost the entire public sessions of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors discussing the annual budget for the coming fiscal year for analysis.