In a midyear budget report, Stanislaus County’s chief executive office recommends funding more than 50 staff positions to restore public safety and meet needs in other departments.
Chief Executive Officer Stan Risen said the county had intended to bolster the beleaguered public safety ranks when the annual budget was approved in September, but it needed to work out a plan for sustaining the staffing levels in future years.
Supervisors will consider the recommendation Tuesday as part of midyear adjustments to the $1.1 billion county budget. The staffing increase would include 38 public safety positions: 18 for the Sheriff’s Department, 13 for probation, four for the public defender and three for the district attorney.
The county would dedicate $2 million in contingency funds this year for restoring public safety, which was cut dramatically during the economic downturn. The restoration funding will increase by $2 million in each of the next three years.
Risen’s proposal would combine the funding for the first two years to pay for the 38 public safety positions. The county would restore 22 additional positions in 2016-17 and 13 more in 2017-18, a report says.
In other departments, Tuesday’s proposal would cut a vacant position and add staff members including:
▪ Two social worker supervisors for child welfare services;
▪ Five positions in the Health Services Agency;
▪ An outreach person for the county library to work with families, adults, children and students;
▪ A software developer for the agricultural commissioner’s office;
▪ A community development and empowerment manager to attend municipal advisory council meetings and support the county’s “focus on prevention” initiative;
▪ Four employees for behavioral health and recovery services and one each for environmental resources and planning and community development.
Sheriff Adam Christianson provided more details on the three-phase restoration plan as it affects his department. He wants to add 16 deputies and two lieutenants in the first phase, seven deputies and two cooks for the jails in 2016-17 and eight positions in 2017-18.
He said his priorities are increasing patrols, rebuilding a narcotics and gang investigative team, adding more detectives and assigning community resource officers to unincorporated towns.
The Sheriff’s Department lost 72 deputy positions in three rounds of cuts between 2009 and 2011. The force would return to 172 deputies with the three-phase restoration plan, and “my goal is to get back to 214,” Christianson said.
The midyear report says the Public Defender’s Office could be short $700,000 for indigent defense because of more complex court cases. The CEO’s office will monitor the situation and bring back a funding request to the board.
The staffing proposals being considered Tuesday could boost the total county work force to 4,064 full-time employees. The workforce was 4,600 strong in the 2007-08 fiscal year before the Great Recession led to four straight years of personnel cuts.
The midyear financial report shows that discretionary revenues are up $1.9 million.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.
Board of Supervisors Watch
The Board of Supervisors will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, at 1010 10th St., in downtown Modesto. The following items will be considered:
▪ An agreement with the state Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training to provide emergency vehicle course training.
▪ Acceptance of improvements for The Vineyard I subdivision at Diablo Grande.
▪ An agreement in which Waterford and the county each would contribute $400,000 in local matching funds for the $11.65 million Hickman Road bridge project.