Another tough day (or two) at the County of Orange

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The Orange County Register reported this morning that the Board of Supervisors met yesterday and, among other things, took up the recommendations of the CEO on how to close an almost $50 million budget gap.

Recommended and finally approved by the Supervisors were a combination of budget cuts – primarily to departments and programs that serve the poor and the Sheriff’s jail operation – and the age-old gimmick of increasing revenue estimates.  The article describes cuts also made to the office of the District Attorney, but says that the DA can cover most of those cuts with money from a reserve fund that he has.  Must be nice to have a departmental reserve to fall back on.

Since the Supervisors bragged just a few months ago about increasing the County Reserve fund as part of the 11-12 fiscal year county budget, this before the State cut almost $50 million in the State budget that the county was relying upon receiving, the Supervisors also tapped this reserve fund to help fill the budget hole. Easy come, easy go.

Besides that news in The Register today, there was a report that County employee and Santa Ana City Councilman Carolos Bustamante, who was under investigation for alleged sexual abuse activities at his county workplace, has resigned.  The irony of this story being on the same page as numerous obituaries is noteworthy.

And, breaking news – the Association of Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) just issued a press release announcing that it has settled with the County regarding legal fees the Association incurred in defending against the Board of Supervisors lawsuit that sought a court ruling that the enhanced retirement benefit of 3% at 50 granted to the Deputy Sheriffs by the Supervisors about 10 years ago was illegal and should be voided. As many predicted, the County lost that suit, appealed it to a higher Court and lost there, then sought a review by the State Supreme Court but that Court declined.   Predictably, the winner – the union that is AOCDS.  If there is a single loser it is John Moorlach, the County Supervisor who was the vocal advocate for filing and pursuing the suit.  The settlement?  According to the AOCDS press release the County is to pay $1.3 million to cover the AOCDS legal costs.   Of course, that $1.3 million could have saved some services when the Supervisors slashed the budget on October 4, but alas – the futile lawsuit experiment has to be funded instead.

A tough day (or two) at the County of Orange.  And, as I write this, day two is only half over!


About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.