Should Yolo County Help Save the Kings?

saylor_webSome of my greatest memories from living in this area are probably the days of going to the Graduate in the early part of the decade when the Kings were going strong and feeling the energy of the packed audience living and dying with every shot the Kings took.

There was that fateful series against the Lakers when, but for a fortuitous bounce of the ball and a clutch three in game four and a foul-filled game 7 that we later found out was due to a referee intentionally throwing the game, the Kings might have won the Western Conference and ultimately the NBA Championship.

Supervisors Explain Rationale For Layoffs to Sheriff’s Deputies and Benefit Enhancement Vote

McGowan-MikeEarlier this week, we reported on the layoff of ten sheriff’s deputies from Yolo County.  The question that emerged from that article was based on an earlier editorial by the Sacramento Bee.

The Bee wrote, “Budget-strapped Yolo County  approved the most generous retirement enhancements of any jurisdiction locally, almost doubling benefits for sheriff’s deputies in 2008 and giving non-safety workers a 25 percent pension boost. And those benefits were approved retroactively, meaning that the new, richer formulas were applied to employees’ prior years worked, not just future years – an extraordinary windfall for those workers near retirement age.”


County Board of Supervisors Votes to Phase Out Judicial Benefits

matt_rexroad2In the end, Supervisor Matt Rexroad was the lone dissenting vote on a motion that would phase out the county’s obligations to pay extra Judicial Benefits within two years. The board voted 4-1 to implement a termination in 2012 as an alternative to the other options already on the table.  On the other hand, without Mr. Rexroad’s dogged advocacy on this issue, it is likely that his colleagues would not have gone even this far.

The compromise solution, if you will, arose out of the staff report’s alternative view which would “provide notice of termination now and to extend the actual termination date to the next election cycle in 2012.”

Letter from California Judges Association Opposes Elimination of Extra Judicial Benefits

rosenbergThe California Judges Association has entered a fray between some members of the County Board of Supervisors and Judge David Rosenberg regarding supplemental fees paid by the county to Yolo County Judges, despite the fact that they are state employees rather than county employees.

In a July 14 letter from Michael P. Vicencia, President of the California Judges Association, he wrote, “The California Judges Association wishes to express its concern regarding a June 30,2010 letter sent by your staff to the Judges of the Yolo Superior Court and to the Administrative Office of the Courts, regarding the County’s intention to terminate the payment of county-funded judicial benefits.”

Commentary: Wrong Time For Sales Tax Proposal For Yolo County

recessionThe County Board of Supervisors this week discussed a proposal that would ask Yolo County voters to approve a measure that would raise the sales tax by half a percent to generate somewhere between five and seven million to alleviate struggles at the County level that have produced a twenty million dollar deficit for the coming fiscal year and will lead to a widespread cutback in services ranging from health and mental health to law enforcement.

The Vanguard is certainly sympathetic to the county’s plight particularly in light of the devastating cuts to health care services that will put all county residents at a great health risk.  However, the Vanguard does not believe that this is a feasible plan.

Governor Signs Legislation That Provides Tax Relief To Yolo County

2972607492_848584e3ac.jpgYolo County is facing huge deficits this year again as it has to cut 21 million from its operating budget.  One of the problems that it faces is a huge amount of lands are preserved for agriculture.  97.2% of its unincorporated land is designated for agricultural use with 416,519 acres of those lands (69% of all acres designated for agricultural use) are in Williamson Act contracts.

As a result of its land use policy and directing urban development into its cities, the county receives the lowest share of property tax in the state and it also receives almost no significant sales tax revenue.

Guest Commentary: Oppose proposed budget cuts to the Yolo County Health Department


In the most recent round of budget reductions the Yolo County Health Department suffered significant losses of both personnel and programs.  Unfortunately those cuts and the cuts in other County departments were not enough to eliminate the County’s budget deficit.  The Supervisors have the difficult and thankless job of deciding where additional reductions will be made.
In difficult times it is important not to mince words.  The following letter from the Health Council to the Supervisors emphatically states that further cuts to the Health Department represent not ‘fat trimming’ but the elimination of the equivalent of bone and vital organs.  Further cuts will damage the aggregate health and well being of the County, and in some cases will result in the loss of substantially more State and Federal subsidy dollars than the dollars contained in the proposed cut.

Proposed Budget Cuts To The Yolo County Health Department: Can We Afford Them?

recession.jpgby Mary Zhu –

Given the state budget crisis, the Board of Supervisors has difficult choices to make, one of which is whether to accept the draconian cuts proposed for the Yolo County Heath Department. Threatened are the very programs that took us out of the squalor of the 19th century and that continue to guard our health today.

At the beginning of the 20th century, childbirth was dangerous and lives were short. In 1900, for every 1000 live births, 6-9 women died of complications of pregnancy and 135 infants died before their first birthday, a loss of more than one of every ten babies. By the 1950’s, these deaths were uncommon.   The maternal mortality rate in 1997 was less than 0.1/1000 live births and the infant mortality rate by year one was 7.2 /1000 live births (1)(2). These changes are spectacular and unparalleled among improvements in all other mortality rates. Because of the salvage of infant lives, the expected life span at birth rose from 47.3 years in 1900 to 73.7 years in 1980, a gain of more than 26 years of life. More recently, a few additional years were added at the other spectrum of life; survival from the ailments of age (heart diseases and cancers) improved and life spans increased to 77.7 years in 2006 (3).

County Health Services Would Be Gutted in Budget Cuts

recession.jpgAs we have reported more times than we bear, the county has around a 21 million dollar deficit that it will be cutting around March 25, 2010.  In order to get to that point, whole departments may be eliminated.  However, the worst impact will be on the residents who rely on vital services from the county, most particularly health services.

Departments have been asked to identify the possible impacts and develop worst-case scenarios in the event they have to absorb a 16 to 35% budget reduction target.  From the health department budget the county is contemplating a cut over a little over a million dollars.  The impact will be devastating on multiple levels.  In the fiscal year 2007/08 there were 130.3 FTE positions in the Yolo County Health Department, by 2010/11, that number could be down nearly in half to 67.4.

County Begins To Look At $21 Million in Cuts For Next Year’s Budget

recession.jpgby Eric Alfaro –

This week the Yolo Board of Supervisors gathered in a special strategic budget planning sessions to discuss inevitable cuts to the county budget while simultaneously strategizing ways to keep Yolo County performing in a self sustainable manner.

Discussed in the planning session were the logistics behind the current budget problems and the recommended department cuts that would alleviate the budget gap for the 2010-11 fiscal years and beyond.