Santa Rosa, CA – July 24, 2020 – On Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will begin reviewing departmental budgets with the goal of making the adjustments needed to address a $45 million to $50 million shortfall due to revenue declines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.
“The County’s fiscal philosophy is to hope for the best but be prepared, as much as possible, for the worst,” said Board Chair Susan Gorin. “This is as challenging time for our county, state and nation, and we will have some hard choices to make in the days to come.”
The review of departmental budget adjustments is part of an extended process implemented this year for adopting the county’s 2020-21 spending plan. In order to maintain services and meet its financial obligations for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the Board approved a “baseline” budget(PDF) of roughly $2 billion on June 10. In receiving departmental presentations next week, the Board begins the process of understanding service impacts associated with the potential budget reductions needed to address the county’s projected fiscal challenge. The Board’s goal is to adopt a structurally balanced budget.
Department managers have been encouraged to propose reductions and consider deferring discretionary expenses. The Board also has requested that all new hires, travel and training be suspended unless an exemption is approved by the County Administrator.
The budget workshops will be followed by public budget hearings tentatively scheduled for the first and second week of September ending with final approval of a balanced 2020-21 fiscal plan. Board meeting materials will be available for public review by visiting https://sonomacounty.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx