|Brown announces improvements to central booking|
Ordinarily, I'd say this is just another example of Brown's lack of transparency. But as it happens, the County had nothing to do with extending invitations. Since Brown is running for Auditor General, it would be against his own self-interest to snub so many.
I asked Administrative Director Luis Campos to provide a copy of his address, which is below in outline form Brown identifies flat revenues and growing expenses as the County's two chief problems.
The cost of County personnel is increasing $3.9 million per year, but county revenues are only increasing $1 million per year. This in turn leads to deficit spending, with the general fund dropping from a year-end balance of $68.3 million in 2008 to $30.2 million last year.
Brown claims to have reversed a seven-year downward trend, but his own statistics belie that assertion.
His extremely unpopular health care reductions, which led to a record number of retirements, only applies to 1/3 of the workforce. Brown found this out the hard way as a result of adverse union rulings.But he predicts his reductions will cover 87% of the workforce by the end of this year. It's unclear how much this will save. I saw no indication on his outline claiming any real savings.
His two biggest successes are at Gracedale and in central booking. Changes that first started under Executive John Stoffa are beginning to have an impact. The nursing home lost $2.1 million last year instead of the $7.7 million projected. But the nursing home also needs at least $10 million in capital improvements. Central Booking changes get police officers back on patrol as quickly as possible. This may not save any money for the County, but it helps the bottom line of municipal police forces and increases public safety.