Frequently Asked Questions

Matthew H. Hymel, County Administrator

Choose a category below:

Management and Budget

  • What has the County done so far to reduce costs?

    The County has a tradition of fiscal discipline and has the highest bond rating among California counties. We have already taken the following actions to reduce our costs:

    • Enacted a hiring freeze in 2007
    • Adopted a lower-cost retiree health plan for new employees in 2008
    • Negotiated new, lower cost 2% at 61.25 pension tiers for 5 of 6 miscellaneous bargaining groups in 2011
    • Made over $30 million in budget reductions over past four years and eliminated over 240 vacant positions (over 10% of our work force)
    • Created a voluntary separation incentive program to increase attrition, which will save over $4 million annually
    • Fully implemented two department consolidation efforts - including the new Sheriff-Coroner and Department of Finance
    • Adopted a long-term restructuring plan in January 2010 as a guide to help adapt to our new fiscal reality
  • Where does the County get its money?
  • How does the County spend its money?
  • How has the economic downturn impacted the County?

    The economic downturn continues to impact the County in several ways, including:

    • A slowdown in property tax revenue, coupled with higher unemployment, resulting in slow to flat economic growth
    • Continued State budget reductions and uncertainties
    • Increased pension costs, resulting from market losses in pension holdings in 2009, as well as increased costs for retiree health
    • Greater demand for County "safety net" services at the same time that counties face further reductions in State funding

    As a result, we have reduced our annual spending by over $30 million and reduced our workforce by 11% over the past 4 years. Looking ahead, we face a more structurally balanced budget than we have seen in some time. While we will need to continue our efforts to innovate, address any further reduction of State or Federal funding, and identify new ways to meet emerging community needs, we look forward to working with the Board, employees and the public to ensure continued partnership in efforts to meet our challenges while maintaining a sustainable and balanced operating budget.

  • Where do my property taxes go?

    Please visit the property tax information page on the County's Department of Finance website.

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Risk Management

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