RED BLUFF – Final approval for Tehama County’s 2021/2022 fiscal year budget was granted on Tuesday in a 3-2 vote by the supervisory board.
The new budget, which has been repeatedly pushed back, must be approved by the state on September 21 before it can be implemented.
Based on the budget narrative attached to the related agenda report, the county expects income of $ 39,990,719 and expenses to be $ 43,611,241, making a variance of $ 3,277,412 after previous revisions.
A graph in the story shows that the credits from the general fund will be distributed as follows:
- Public protection: 61 percent
- General government: 26 percent
- Public assistance: 7 percent
- Health and sanitation services: 3 percent
- Education: 2 percent
- Recreation: 1 percent
Supervisors Candy Carlson and John Leach voted against approving the budget as presented.
“It’s the way the budget is balanced that bothered me,” Carlson said, citing that she didn’t want to use one-time money, in this case from the CARES Act, for ongoing costs.
Carlson said she was also concerned about the amount of money that would be set aside in the emergency fund.
“$ 1.1 million won’t get us through several months,” Carlson said. “The reason we have an emergency fund is for emergencies where the county has to pay for services and not have a gap in service to the public, services that we are required to provide.”
Leach, who served on the ad hoc budget committee with supervisor Steve Chamblin, said he still had reservations about the content of the budget.
“I was a little upset that there had only been three times that we met as an ad hoc (committee)…” Leach said. “I am not 100% in favor of what we are presenting here today and therefore, in my opinion, I think we need to go back and review it.”
Leach thanked the managers for the efficient use of what they have.
Supervisor Bob Williams responded, explaining that the board almost ran out of time for budget approval, but said concerns were something to keep in mind for next year. Chamblin, while in favor of the budget, agreed that all points raised should be taken into account for the next budget preparation cycle.
“I would strongly recommend that all of these talking points that have been raised be taken into account and continue after the budget is passed,” Chamblin said.
During the public hearing, some residents spoke out against the budget, including Louise Wilkinson of Lake California.
“This budget is a big failure on the part of a board of directors that has heard for over a year all of us who have found a big flaw in the way the budget is,” Wilkinson said. “I hope you start the new budget process with the new ad hoc committee giving heads of departments a five-year bottom-up report so you can see what the changes should be.”
Supervisor and Chairman Dennis Garton ultimately voted alongside Chamblin and Williams.
“I’m in favor of moving forward at least so we can do the paperwork,” Garton said. “And by the 21st, the two who say no are free to speak with (Auditor-Comptroller LeRoy Anderson) and with Bill (Goodwin) to get their problems answered.
The Tehama County Supervisory Board is meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at 727 Oak St. in Red Bluff. Meetings are free and open to the public. However, some guidelines are in place due to the pandemic. The number of members of the public is limited and all participants must wear masks.