San Mateo County Releases Balanced Budget

Hearings Start September 16

San Mateo County Manager John L. Maltbie today unveiled a balanced budget for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years that invests in public safety, prepares the County for federal health care reform, funds affordable housing projects and rebuilds aging infrastructure.

The Recommended Budget for FY 2013-14 is $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The Recommended Budget for FY 2014-15 is $1.9 billion.

The Recommended Budget invests in numerous projects and initiatives that were delayed due to the economic downturn that began five years ago. During that time County officials focused on staving off deep cuts to services.

“By making wise decisions over the past five years we have avoided the drastic service cutbacks faced by many public organizations,” Maltbie said. “Now with the rebounding economy we are positioned to invest wisely in securing a stable and prosperous future for our residents.”

The number of new positions in the Recommended Budget total 112 in the 2013-14 fiscal year and 42 in FY 2014-15. The new positions being recommended are primarily for the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and the opening of the Maple Street Correctional Center, which will replace the outdated Women’s Correctional Center and relieve overcrowding in men’s facilities. The Maple Street Correctional Center is expected to open July 2015.

The overall level of staffing is still approximately 10 percent less than five years ago.

The most significant changes to the budget include:

  • $97.8 million in FY 2013-14 and $60.2 million in FY 2014-15 for the construction of the Maple Street Correctional Center.
  • $62 million, over two years, for other capital improvement projects, including taking over the former Devil’s Slide section of Highway 1 from Caltrans to turn it into a park, replacing the Skylonda Fire Station, and various facility and infrastructure projects, including roads, utilities and airports.
  • $50 million in FY 2013-14 and $10 million in FY 2014-15 for additional pension contributions to begin the accelerated pay down of the County’s unfunded pension liability.
  • $26.4 million in FY 2013-14 and $27.9 million in FY 2014-15 for major IT initiatives, including payroll system replacement; upgrades to the County’s network, Criminal Justice Information system and radio system; and web redesign.
  • $13.4 million to build more affordable housing and construct and/or renovate emergency shelters
  • A reorganization that reestablishes the Parks Department as a separate department.

This budget also allocates $355,000 in FY 2013-14 and $200,000 in FY 2014-15 to the Housing Department to fill two critical positions. “We have seen first-hand how critical housing assistance is. The fire that struck a Redwood City apartment complex in July left dozens of people seeking emergency housing at a time when apartment rents are out of reach of so many,” Maltbie said.

There are no Measure A Half-Cent Sales Tax funds in this budget.  The Board will consider for final adoption 22 proposals totaling $92 million during the budget hearings.  The proposals address a wide range of issues, including emergency response, early learning and childhood development, mental health services, school safety, homelessness, Veterans services, improvements to unincorporated areas including North Fair Oaks and coastside communities, transportation, buildings and facility infrastructure, and park improvements

The Recommended Budget hearings for FYs 2013-14 and 2014-15 will be begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, September 16, at the Board of Supervisors Chambers on the first floor of the Hall of Justice and Records, 400 County Center, Redwood City, 94063.

Hearings will continue at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 18, in the Board Chambers.

The FY 2013-15 Recommended Budget and the complete hearings schedule can be found at:

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