Placer County offices will be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 25 and Fri., Dec. 26, 2008, and New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2009.
All county emergency response and 24-hour-a-day services will continue uninterrupted, including law enforcement and emergency support to individuals, such as child protective services.
No county bus services will be available on Dec. 25, and most will not operate on Jan. 1. Some county bus services will operate on a reduced schedule on Friday, Dec. 26. Complete transit information is available by clicking this link: Transit.
While Placer County offices have always closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day, the Dec. 26 closure is one of four additional days that county offices will be closed during the next six months as about 2,200 county employees, including confidential and management employees, will be taking unpaid, mandatory time off. The other three days are Fri., Feb. 13, 2009; Mon., April 13, 2009 and Fri., May 22, 2009.
The Board of Supervisors approved the unpaid leave on Dec. 9, 2008 to partially fill a budget gap, saving about $2 million and more than 20 jobs. The county’s 2008-09 budget, which was balanced when approved on Sept., 2008, was thrown out of balance by $9.5 million as property taxes, sales taxes, investments and other revenues declined sharply.
“Statewide, local governments are struggling to adjust to the economic slump, and Placer is no exception,” said Thomas M. Miller, County Executive Officer. “Cost reductions made last year by the Board of Supervisors have meant that Placer County is better able to weather the loss of revenues than many counties, but more cuts will be necessary in future months. The economic slump is expected to create major challenges for the next two to three years.
“However, Placer County will continue to look for cost-saving measures that protect our services to the public and minimize the impact to our employees. We appreciate the support we have received from staff and the community in facing this extraordinary challenge.”
On Dec. 9, the Board of Supervisors also cut costs to balance the budget by removing the General Fund’s contribution to the Road Fund, removing funding for 38 vacant positions, authorizing the use of $1.7 million in General Fund reserves, and reducing funds for services and supplies.
The Board has continued its policy of having departments keep positions vacant as a way to reduce costs. In Fiscal Year 2007-08, Placer County had 2,728 funded positions. In Fiscal Year 2008-09, the County reduced the number of funded positions to 2,588. However, only 2,470 of these positions are filled.
Declining national and state economies with a related drop in local revenues are also forcing the Placer County Board of Supervisors to lay the groundwork for greater challenges during the 2009-10 fiscal year and beyond.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider other cost-cutting measures on February 24, when more accurate revenue estimates become available. Local officials hope also to know what impacts the state budget, currently $22 billion out of balance, will have on county revenues. Counties are mandated to provide safety net health and human services to residents county wide, including those who live in cities, and receive the vast majority of funding for these services through the state government.
Residents are encouraged to stay informed about the county budget actions. There are several ways to obtain information.
1. All Board meetings are open to the public. The Board usually meets in the County Administration Center at 175 Fulweiler Avenue in Auburn on alternate Tuesday mornings beginning at 8:30 or 9 a.m. To confirm meeting dates and times go to the county web site, www.placer.ca.gov or call the Clerk of the Board, 530-889-4020.
2. You may listen to the Board meeting while it’s in progress by calling 530-886-5225.
3. The county web site has information about the Board meetings, agendas, action summaries and information pieces about the items to be discussed. Information is posted no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday before a Tuesday meeting. Go to “Board of Supervisors” on the web site, then click on “agendas and summaries” on the left hand. You can also receive an agenda by fax (call 530-889-6800), or the Clerk can also mail you an agenda if you provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
4. Board of Supervisors meetings can be viewed live online via the web site at www.placer.ca.gov or in a recorded version two to three days later. Click “Board of Supervisors Meeting Video” in the “online services” box on the home page for viewing.
5. Local cable television also shows taped recordings of supervisors meetings.
Check with your local cable outlet for days and times.
6. If you need additional assistance, please contact the Public Information Office by sending an email to email@example.com or call the office at 530-889-4012.