The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Zack Scrivner
Second District Supervisor 

Supervisor Zack Scrivner's District 2 Update

County Budget

 


For the past several years, the County has adopted our final budget in August, after the County accounts for all of its "carryover" funds (monies left over from the previous fiscal year), and more accurate projections on property tax revenue are completed. This has allowed the Board of Supervisors to make budgetary decisions with the most complete and accurate financial information.

In prior months, all County departments were asked to prepare their budget requests for Fiscal Year 2014-15 with a 5% reduction, so as to achieve at least a $15 million savings that would make funds available for a contribution to Kern Medical Center. KMC presents an ongoing budgetary challenge that affects virtually every aspect of the County budget. While it is always difficult for County departments to make cuts while striving to maintain current service levels, most departments were able to achieve these cuts with minimal service level impacts. The preliminary recommended budget for FY 2014-15 is $2.6 billion.

The Assessor has finalized the property tax assessment roll, with an increase of 5.6%, bringing in an additional $6.2 million to the County's coffers. Carryover funds from the last fiscal year have amounted to $25 million, which is money saved by all county departments through prudent budgeting. Because of the additional funds that have been realized, no layoffs will occur, and critical public safety positions will be maintained in the Kern County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Crime Lab.

In order to encourage public participation in our budgetary deliberations, a special evening meeting on the budget will be held at 6 PM, on August 25th, at the Board of Supervisors Chambers. Budget discussions will continue at our regular Board of Supervisors meeting at 9 AM, on August 26th.

AB 2546 Update (Kern Medical Center Health Authority)

The County believes that this authority may allow the hospital to operate in an environment that provides for more rapid and fluid business decisions related to staffing and procurement. Without some of the bureaucratic burdens of the County, KMC may be able to more quickly adopt and maintain profit making strategies. As currently being considered, the authority would continue to be either directly or indirectly governed by the Board of Supervisors and would meet the Welfare and Institutions Code 17000 obligation for the provision of heath care for the indigent in Kern County. The bill is permissive, allowing the Board to use the authority at their discretion. This is one of many options the Board will likely consider in its effort to improve the financial condition of KMC. The bill is working its way through the California State Legislature, and will hopefully be signed into law this fall.

Kern County Planning Department wins National Association of Counties Award

The National Association of Counties has awarded the Kern County Planning and Community Development Department a National Achievement Award in the Community/Economic Development category, highlighting the RENEWBIZ program which the Board of Supervisors created at my request in December 2012. RENEWBIZ (Renewable Energy Neighborhood Enhancement Wind Business Investment Zone) was selected because it energizes local business owners and residents to work on a grassroots level to restore depressed business areas, and develop a "visioning" of how they want their unincorporated town's business district to look in the future. The Second District communities of Boron, Mojave, Rosamond, and Old Towne Tehachapi, have undergone visioning workshops. Improvements to local businesses, street work, and other infrastructure improvements are under way, or in the planning phases. I am pleased that our continued effort to revitalize East Kern with RENEWBIZ has received recognition on a national level, but I am even more excited for what this program means to the future of our communities here in the Second District!

 
 

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