Published: June 8, 2020
Dear County Employees,
As you all know, the COVID-19
pandemic’s effect on the economy has been significant. Public entities
rely almost entirely on local, state, or federal revenue sources, primarily
funded by a variety of taxes. Our own Sonoma State University Economist, Dr.
County Tourism (PDF 39-41), the state’s
LAO, and Bay Area sales tax expert HdL
are predicting reductions in these types of revenue sources, which CAO staff
has identified to be in the range of 8-30%. These reductions are
estimated to result in a significant revenue shortfall for fiscal year 2020-21,
as much as $50M.
On Wednesday, June
10, 2020, the Board of Supervisors will discuss revenue projections
and will be asked to approve the County FY 2020-21 Recommended Budget. I
want to make sure our employees know the recommended budget is not the
final step in approving next year’s budget. We realize projections could
improve, we need to see the State’s final budget, and we need time to evaluate
viable cost savings measures. As a result, the Board will have a phased
approach to finalizing the budget. There will be more budget discussions
at the end of July, and a final budget will be approved early
These discussions and estimations
will understandably create concerns and fear of layoffs. On Wednesday,
except for the Fairgrounds allocations, the Board will not take any action to
reduce filled positions as of July 1, 2020. Over these summer months,
departments will continue to evaluate and plan, with the hope that we see
positive state and federal news. We will continue to keep you informed as
budget activities take place.
Once again, thank you for all that
you do to keep the County operating and supporting our community.