A critical eye to San Diego County government, its workers, revenues, and services

by on June 3, 2011 · 2 comments

in Economy, Labor, San Diego

Editor: Here are a series of reports by the Center on Policy Initiatives – a labor-and progressive-aligned think tank here in San Diego – about our San Diego County government, its employees, its revenues and services.

by Center on Policy Initiatives

County Employees: Overworked and Undermined

County employees report chaotic system fails low-income residents

In San Diego County’s efforts to improve its public assistance enrollment system have backfired – degrading service quality, accountability, and job performance – according to the employees doing the work.

CPI and the San Diego State University are releasing a report based on a survey of 342 county employees and a review of county data. The study, County Employees: Overworked and Undermined , reveals a chaotic and stressful environment at the Family Resource Centers, where low-income county residents apply for assistance such as food stamps, health programs and temporary aid.


San Diego County Revenues and Reserves

While trailing in services, San Diego County amassed $2.2 billion in reserves

In SAN DIEGO COUNTY REVENUES AND RESERVES: A comparative analysis of California’s largest counties, CPI reveals that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has accumulated $2.2 billion in unspent reserves,while restricting safety net services during a recession.

The county’s end-of-year fund balances total almost 60% of expenditures, compared to an average of 42% among other major California counties, the study found. The report shows that San Diego County further starves its own budget by bringing in unusually low amounts of all types of revenue.

“San Diego County has not prioritized the essential health and social services it is obligated to provide,” said CPI Executive Director Clare Crawford. “Good fiscal stewardship is not just a matter of putting money in the bank. It requires wise spending to meet your responsibilities and prevent greater future costs.”

“This county has been saving for a rainy day during a monsoon,” she said.

The report, San Diego County Revenues and Reserves, compares budget and spending data for the 12 largest counties in California. San Diego has long trailed other counties in providing services, for instance by enrolling less than half of those eligible for Medi-Cal.

Spending more of its revenue on local services would help create jobs and boost the local economy, as well as helping people struggling in the recession, said study author Vladimir Kogan. The County Board’s decision to instead build up excessive reserves is a trade-off with real consequences. “


County Fiscal Policies Squeeze San Diego’s Core Public Services

by Vlad Kogan / Voice of San Diego

Over the past two years, several independent studies and analyses have documented the abysmal levels of public services provided by the county of San Diego.

A recent investigation by voiceofsandiego.org and the Rose Institute found San Diego at the bottom compared to other major counties in the state in the provision of basic social services to the region’s most vulnerable residents.

Others have noted that, until recently, San Diego was the only large county in the state without an organized fire department — something that no doubt hampered the region’s ability to contain and extinguish the 2007 wildfires — and still spends far less than others on regional fire protection.

The response from our Board of Supervisors has generally been to blame the state — both for saddling the county with onerous responsibilities without providing the money necessary to fund them and for failing to deliver additional revenue to expand essential public services such as fire protection.

For the remainder of this article and its links, please go here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Mercy June 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I don’t know how different county is from city, but, my company did the archaeology on the corner of W. Point Loma and Sunset Cliffs back in Feb…and we still haven’t been paid for it yet by the city of SD. Our boss went to a mtg this morning and they gave him some B.S. about it all. I guess the money to put up the cool wall and brick walkway for the gateway that is there right now came from the donations of our own people here in OB?? Meanwhile, all the fat cats that run our city, continue to get their bloated 6 figure salaries, but us small guys don’t even get paid for the job they hired us to do!

And as far as the wildfires in ’07, my son is a federal FF, and they are the ones that had to come in and assist all the city fire depts because they didn’t have enough personnel.


doug June 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

diane jacobs put on the ballot a couple of years ago that she wanted a $50 parcel TAX on all property to fund a county fire dept. the messure failed yet the county went out anyway and started buying fire trucks,that by the way cal fire staffs,the county pays the maintenece and we still don’t have an “official”fire dept.where did all that money come from to buy all those fire trucks?i’ve asked this question time and again but to no avail no ansewer!all these trucks are hidden in the backcountry of san diego county,out of sight out of mind?to find these simply go to julian,warner springs,borrego,mt.laguna,campo just to name a few.during the fires it was not lack of equipment or resorses but simply infighting within cal fire v.s. volenteer dept.while the chiefs fought equipment sat.in julian alone 3 dozer crews from la county sat for three days,while in front of the high school 10 fire trucks,fully staffed with fresh crews sat while just down the road[less than a mile]houses burned.there is some stinkie dead fish down at the county board of supervisors and all you have to do is start at the top[diane”her majesty”jacobes]to find out just how bad it is.lot of back door dealin goin on!!!


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