LoCOBot / Friday, May 19 @ 5:05 p.m. / Agendizer
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
May 22, 2023, 9 a.m.
A. ROLL CALL
B. SALUTE TO THE FLAG
C. DEPARTMENT REPORTS
1. Informational County Department Reports for Fiscal Year 2023-24
On May 22, 2023, various County departments will give reports to the Board of Supervisors about their core services, challenges, and goals for Fiscal Year 2023-24. These reports allow for more discussion and public participation before the budget hearings in June. Last year, these meetings were reinstated and held earlier for input before department budget submissions. The departments will limit additional General Fund appropriation requests to prevent layoffs. There will be limited financial and staffing impacts, and the action supports managing resources for sustainability of services. The County Administrative Office will update the Board on the FY 2023-24 budget outlook and seek guidance on additional requests for General Fund appropriations after the presentations.
As she walked into the boardroom, Abby couldn't help but feel a little intimidated. She was here to report on the Department of Health and Human Services, and she knew that this meeting was important. The Board of Supervisors would be discussing the county budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and every department's report was crucial.
Abby took a seat at the table and glanced around the room. She hadn't seen any of these people since before the pandemic, and it was strange to be back in this setting. But before she had too much time to think about it, the meeting started.
One by one, each department presented their reports. Abby listened attentively, taking notes on anything that might be relevant to her department. It was clear that everyone was feeling the financial strain of the pandemic, and there were a lot of worries about layoffs and budget cuts.
But as the meeting wore on, Abby started to feel a sense of camaraderie with the other department heads. They were all in the same boat, trying to navigate these unprecedented times and make sure that their departments could continue to provide essential services to the people of Humboldt County.
As the meeting wrapped up and people started to file out of the room, Abby found herself catching the eye of Luke, the Sheriff's Office representative. They had never really talked before, but something about the way he looked at her now made Abby's heart skip a beat.
"Hey," he said, coming over to where she was packing up her paperwork. "I'm Luke."
"Abby," she replied, smiling up at him.
They fell into easy conversation, discussing the challenges each of their departments faced and how they were trying to meet them. Abby found herself drawn to Luke's easy smile and candid demeanor.
Before they knew it, the boardroom was empty except for the two of them. They exchanged phone numbers, promising to keep in touch and maybe get together for coffee sometime.
Abby left the meeting feeling a sense of hope she hadn't felt in a long time. It was hard to explain, but something about the way Luke had looked at her made her feel like everything was going to be okay – both for her department and for her heart.
Staff Report • Additional General Fund Appropriation Requests Form 23-24 Dept Presentations
2. Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 Budget Outlook and Additional Requests for General Fund Appropriations
On May 22, 2023, the County of Humboldt held a meeting regarding their budget for the upcoming fiscal year (2023-24). The County Administrative Office recommended that the Board of Supervisors: receive an update on the budget outlook, provide direction on additional requests for funding, authorize a moratorium on personnel actions that could cause an increase in expenditures, declare a freeze on hiring staff, authorize exceptions to the hiring freeze for certain positions, direct staff on which Measure Z positions to deallocate, and return with further research on reducing the budget deficit. The discussion included information on the economic outlook for California and the county's revenue and expenditure estimates. The Board also discussed alternative actions and evaluated possible ways to reduce expenses and allocate funding in light of current financial strains. This action supports the county's Strategic Framework by managing resources to ensure the sustainability of their services. The final decision on budget allocation and reductions was left to the Board of Supervisors.
Once upon a time in the County of Humboldt, the Board of Supervisors had an important meeting. They were discussing the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Budget Outlook and Additional Requests for General Fund Appropriations. The county was going through a tough time due to the economic downturn and reduced spending capability of its residents. The cannabis market had also crashed, causing a significant strain on Measure Z, the voter-approved transaction tax receipts.
The Board of Supervisors had to make some tough decisions to balance the budget and ensure the sustainability of services. They decided to declare an immediate freeze on hiring staff in the General Fund through the end of FY 2023-24. However, exceptions can be made by the County Administrative Officer and Director of Human Resources using an attached form to request an exception, especially for sworn personnel required to fulfill state, federal or locally mandated services.
The Board also directed the County Administrative Officer to return with further research on options for reducing the FY 2023-24 budget deficit at the presentation of the FY 2023-24 Proposed Budget. They also decided to evaluate which Measure Z positions to deallocate that were allocated in FY 2022-23 and remain vacant. Additionally, they created a Board Ad Hoc to develop a percentage-based allocation scenario that potentially includes cities and those who have historically received funding in the past.
The Board knew that these decisions would have a financial impact, but they had to manage their resources to ensure the sustainability of services. They made these tough decisions to ensure that they could continue to provide the necessary services to the residents of the County of Humboldt. And with that, the Board of Supervisors adjourned their meeting and went to bed, hoping for a brighter financial future for their county. The end.
Staff Report • Additional General Fund Appropriation Requests Form 23-24 Dept Presentations 5.18.23.pdf • Request for Exception to Hiring Freeze fillable.pdf
D. PUBLIC HEARINGS