Board Minutes - July 22, 2002

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County of Inyo

Board of Supervisors

BUDGET HEARINGS

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, met in special session to consider the FY 2002/03 Budget, at the hour of 8:10 a.m., on Monday, July 22, 2002, in the Board of Supervisors Room, County Administrative Center, Independence, with the following Supervisors present:  Chairperson Linda Arcularius presiding, Julie Bear, Ervin R. Lent, Carroll M. Hambleton, Jr., and Michael Dorame.    Supervisor Lent provided the Invocation, and Supervisor Hambleton led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

 

Public Comment

The Chairperson announced the public comment period and there was no one wishing to address the Board.

 

Budget Message

The County Administrator presented the FY 2002/2003 Budget Message.  He provided a brief history of the requirements for adopting a budget and reviewed the priorities identified in his message.  Mr. Mendez highlighted areas of interest and concern, including 

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·        reallocation of Coso money from Special Reserves to General Reserves;

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·        the uncertainty of the State Budget impacts;

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·         the proposed 10% reductions to last year’s Grants-in-Support funded amounts, noting that the Bishop Chamber of Commerce had requested less than the 10% reduction would have been and so he was recommending the lower amount which was the requested amount;

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·        the reductions in travel and general operating expenses in all budgets;

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·         the elimination of equity and reclassification requests because of the impending Countywide classification study;

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·         the urgent and immediate need to replace equipment in the Solid Waste Program; and

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·         his recommendation that the difference between the fund balance used and the final fund balance, which will be determined after the close of the accural period, be placed in contingencies thereby maintaining a higher contingencies balance than in the past. 

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the budget hearings at 9:00 a.m., reconvening at 9:35 a.m., with all Board Members present.

 

Budget Message

The County Administrator continued his budget message presentation.  He presented the Board with additional requests for the Budget which included restoring reductions to Yucca Mountain, District Attorney RAN and the CHDP budgets for purchases.  He noted that a letter had been received from Child Care Connection asking to be exempted from the 10% decrease in their Grants-in-Support request due to the fact that they had not requested increases in the past several years.  He also identified a correction to page eleven of his budget message explaining that the amount of “$139,145 million” as the DWP Contribution should be “only” $139,145.   The Board and Mr. Mendez discussed the need for prudent budgeting in light of long-term impacts which are imminent because of the State’s $24 billion deficit.

 

Supervisor Hambleton explained that because of the current State budget situation, he was prepared to make a motion to adopt the County Administrator’s recommended budget with the expectation that detailed discussions on the specific requests made by Department’s would take place if feasible after the State Budget adoption.  Supervisor Bear concurred indicating that she did not feel it would be prudent time-management to conduct full blown budget discussions at this time, and then turn around and have similar budget discussions, which would more than likely have different outcomes, once the impact of the State Budget is known. 

 

Moved by Supervisor Hambleton and seconded by Supervisor Bear to approve the County Administrator Recommended Budget for FY 2002/2003 as submitted and amended to include the increases to Yucca Mountain, RAN and CHDP Budgets as requested; and schedule Final Budget adoption for August 27, 2002. 

Prior to the vote being taken on the motion, the Chairperson queried the Board Members on their desires to hear from the Department Heads and noted the 1:00 p.m., schedule for discussion on the Advertising County Resources Budget.  The individual Board Members indicated, that while they were willing to hear what the Department Heads had to say, they were not likely to support any changes or additions to the County Administrator’s Recommended Budget, at this time.   The Chairperson, after explaining that it was within the purview of the Chair to set a motion aside in order to take comments, set the motion aside to be revisited at the conclusion of the discussions. 

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the budget hearings at 10:15 a.m., reconvening at 10:35 a.m., with all Board Members present.

 

 

The Chairperson invited the Department Heads to address the Board concerning their budgets.  She acknowledged the Department Heads in the order in which their departments appeared on the Agenda Schedule.  The Department Heads present addressed the Board to concur with the County Administrator’s recommendations, with several of them indicating that they were looking forward to more in-depth discussions of their budget requirements during final budget adoption. 

 

The County Administrator went on to explain that he was, and would be, recommending that should, at final adoption, the State still not have a budget, the Board adopt the CAO’s Recommended Budget with no major changes or additions.  He explained that this would result in the Board addressing future changes to the budget through individual Department requests, which would require 4/5’s vote for passage.  He also explained that the reductions made to the individual budgets were not of such magnitude that the Departments could not maintain operations to mid-year, at which time changes could be made to the budgets.  He reminded the Board that in the past, Inyo County conducted almost full blown budget hearings during the mid-year budget review.  He explained that even thought the County  has moved away from this practice, there is nothing prohibiting the detailed revisions to the budget at that time.  He qualified his remarks by explaining that after the Final Budget is adopted, all future budget actions, whether through individual requests or a mid-year budget review process, would require a 4/5’s vote for passage.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the budget hearings at 11:45 a.m., reconvening at 1:15 p.m., with all Board Members present.

 

Advertising County Resources

The County Administrator reiterated his previous remarks explaining that his recommendation for the Grants-in-Support funding was to fund those organizations at 10% less than their last year’s actual funding allocation, with the exception of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, which was being funded at this year’s requested amount which is less than the 10% reduction of last year’s amount.  Mr. Mendez also explained that should he make recommendations during final budget adoption to restore some of the funding cut from Department budgets, he would not be recommending that the Grants-in-Support programs receive any additional funding.  The Board and Mr. Mendez discussed this recommendation, with Mr. Mendez confirming that while he would not be recommending restoration of the funding levels, the Board could make whatever adjustments they chose to approve.

 

The Chairperson invited the representatives to the Grants-in-Support organizations to address the Board.  Representatives of the County’s Chambers of Commerce addressed the Board to provide project updates and, in some instances to provide additional explanation and justification for no reductions to their funding or for increased funding.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the budget hearings at 2:45 a.m., reconvening at 3:00 p.m., with all Board Members present.

 

Advertising County Resources

The Chairperson invited the remaining representatives of the Grants-in-Support organizations to address the Board.  Representatives of those organizations other than the Chambers of Commerce, who receive funding through Grants-in-Support addressed the Board to provide updates and justification for no reductions to their funding. 

 

At the conclusion of the organizations presentations, the Board and Mr. Mendez discussed the recommendation to possibly raise the TOT tax in Inyo County.  Mr. Mendez explained that an increase in TOT would be presented during an upcoming workshop and  that he was envisioning tying the increase to possibly pay for the upgrade to the Sheriff’s Emergency Network and then to replacing the equipment at the landfills.  Mr. Mendez explained further that he was tying it to the emergency and visitor services arenas similar to what recently occurred in Mono County, when voters approved an increase in the TOT rate.

 

The Board and Mr. Mendez went on to briefly discuss the revenue projections for TOT, TUT, Sales Tax, and Property Tax, with Mr. Mendez explaining that he had adopted a very conservative estimate policy when projecting these revenues.  The Board and Mr. Mendez continued to discuss the economic status of the County as a result of the market drop and the lack of investor confidence in private industry.  Supervisor Arcularius cautioned departments and Grants-in-Support organizations that while recommendations may be forthcoming, from the County Administrator or the individual Board Members during Final Budget adoption, to restore funding levels, that she, as one Board Member, has increasing reserves as her first priority.  She explained that in the past couple of years and again this year that money was being moved from one reserve account to another reserve account without actually increasing the total amount of reserves.  She went on to explain that she wanted to see the County’s reserves increased, especially in light of future budget impacts as a result of the State’s budget crisis.

 

At the conclusion of the economic discussions, Mr. Mendez and the Board discussed alternative dates for scheduling Final Budget adoption because of the Board and Staff travel schedules.  September 10, 2002, was the date agreed upon.

 

Budget Adoption

The Chairperson asked that the motion for adoption be restated.  Moved by Supervisor Hambleton and seconded by Supervisor Bear to approve the County Administrator Recommended Budget for FY 2002/03, as submitted and  as amended to include the increases to the Yucca Mountain, District Attorney RAN and CHDP Budgets; authorize the County Administrator to sign all Grants-in-Support Contracts upon adoption of the Final Budget; and schedule Final Budget Adoption for Tuesday, September 10, 2002, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center, in Independence.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Policy Discussions

The Board and Mr. Mendez went on to discuss several policy recommendations which were identified throughout the budget.  Mr. Jewett reviewed the recommendations regarding the Bishop Airport.    Supervisor Hambleton asked for clarification on where the “loan payment” from IMAAA to the General Fund was reflected in the Budget, reminding the Board that several weeks ago the Board had approved an action to “loan” money to the IMAAA Program which would be paid back.  He asked that the detail for General Fund “loans receivables” be compiled for the past five years and presented for Board discussion and possible direction.  Mr. Mendez and Mr. Holland, Auditor-Controller, provided brief explanations of General Fund loans, with the County Administrator explaining that he would present the detailed report prior to Final Budget adoption. 

 

The Board directed Mr. Mendez to bring back for further consideration recommendations for (a) increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax; (b) replacing equipment in the Solid Waste Program; and (c) tracking, reporting and collecting General Fund “loans receivables.”

 

Adjournment

The Chairperson adjourned the budget hearings at 4:13 p.m.

 

  ______________________________________
   Chairperson, Inyo County Board of Supervisors

 

Attest:   RENÉ L. MENDEZ
         Clerk of the Board

    by:        ___________________________________
                   
Patricia Gunsolley, Assistant  

 

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Last Updated: May 18, 2006