County of Marin - News Releases - Budget Adoption

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2020

Board Approves County Budget with Amendments

Sheriff-Coroner budget reduced by $1.7 million to fund racial equity initiatives

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a budget June 24 that largely maintains current services and includes one-time budget reductions to close a $10.5 million revenue shortfall due to the economic downturn.

The Board amended the proposed budget to include a reduction of $1.7 million to the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office proposed budget to augment efforts to fund racial equity initiatives to $2.7 million. The Board also deferred voting on a grant-funded school resource officer.

The budget hearings were conducted via videoconference June 22-24 and included over 400 comments from members of the public. The overwhelming majority of public comments were in support of reducing the Sheriff-Coroner budget as part of a larger national campaign to defund law enforcement, reinvesting the savings in additional community services and education.

“I was very moved over the past three days by the comments of the public, in particular the comments of the younger generation and voices that we have not heard before,” Board President Katie Rice said. “I appreciated the passion, compassion and empathy they brought to this public forum.”

County Administrator Matthew Hymel said that the budget maintains current services and avoids immediate reductions in high priority programs.

”This is the beginning of a process to rebalance the County budget, and there will be hard choices ahead,” he said. “In the fall, when there is more certainty about the economic outlook and potential state/federal emergency funds, our staff will return to the Board with a plan to close a projected $15 million to $20 million shortfall.” 

The Board approved a $619.7 million budget for 2020-21, a 1.7% reduction, due to declining revenues related to the pandemic. To achieve a balanced budget for 2020-21, the Board approved $8.4 million in one-time expenditure reductions and the use of $2.1 million in fiscal reserves.

Top priorities in the budget included the following:

  • responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • building reserves for future uncertainty; and
  • making one-time reductions to achieve a balanced budget.

Budget Manager Bret Uppendahl said the Board’s decision to build reserves in the past few years will allow the County to make thoughtful adjustments over the next year to close its projected longer-term budget gap.

“Future budget shortfalls will be more significant,” he said. “Over the next few months, we will work with the departments to identify permanent reductions to achieve an ongoing structural balance.”

Learn more about the County’s budget overview webpage. Budget feedback may be emailed to the County budget staff.


Bret Uppendahl
Budget Manager
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6358
Email: Bret Uppendahl
County Administrator website