State Budget Mess Leads to Mono County Layoffs

As local governments and schools brace for the bad budget news out of Sacramento, cuts to public health money has lead Mono County to layoff two employees. At the Mono Supervisors meeting Tuesday, the board approved plans to cut costs by cutting jobs.

County Administrator Dave Wilbrecht reports that of the five jobs cut, three people were shifted into other county positions, but two people will be out of a job September 1. All five positions were cut from the Health Department and Mental Health Department, which rely heavily on state and federal money to continue services. Three community outreach specialists, one bilingual community outreach specialist and one quality assurance coordinator position were cut, saving close to $400,000.

Right now the state budget remains in limbo with the legislature still meeting to try and come up with a budget. Mental Health Director Dr. Ann Gimpel says that while nothing is yet set in stone, no one in Sacramento is even arguing over the proposed cuts to Mental Health. Gimpel says that she doesnt expect to see the programs resurrected. With a $24 billion deficit, I dont see how to close the gap with out spreading the pain around, she says.

The new fiscal year started July 1. Rather than find out six months down the road that the funding has been cut and the county is on the hook for the six months of salary, Gimpel says that the county has taken the fiscally prudent path and started the layoff process now. As it is the layoffs take effect on September 1, leaving the county possibly on the hook for two months salary, with no state money to pay the wages.

The board approved the layoffs 4-1. Bill Reid was the lone dissenter.

 
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