Following the annual report on the midyear status of the budget, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors directed the County Executive to create a policy that automatically directs a portion of “carry over” funds towards a reserve account.
“In general, our budget’s in good shape,” said Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan of District 4. “We need to make adjustments up and down, as we do every year, but due to salary savings, program adjustments, and unanticipated revenue, we’ve projected that the General Fund will end the year with a fund balance of approximately $21.9 million. With this in mind, this is a perfect time to get back to our practice of putting money aside for unforeseen budget demands or future economic pressures.“
Each year, a thorough review of the status of the budget, particularly the General Fund, is done, using six months of actual revenue and expenditures. Since the County’s budget begins July 1, the mid-point is December 31. The mid-point review helps ensure the budget is on track, and allows time to make adjustments if necessary. With the current estimation of carry-over funds, this means the County should have the necessary resources to end this fiscal year without the need to make additional expenditure reductions.
“With the worst of the economic recession behind us, we can now make long-term plans to keep us stabilized in coming years,” said Supervisor Don Nottoli, Vice Chair of the Board. “I think it’s important to reestablish our policy of setting aside money, as well as continuing to pay back internal transfers that were made during the economic downturn to keep things going.”
“It’s important that we automatically put a portion of any carry-over funds directly into reserves,” said District 1 Supervisor Phil Serna, who suggested the policy. “Just as in our personal lives with retirement funds and savings accounts, fortifying our reserves – essentially the County’s rainy day account – is the smart thing to do.”
“Bringing back a policy that directs carry-over funds into a reserve account makes sense for the people we serve,” said Patrick Kennedy, Supervisor for District 2. “We must learn from the past and be prepared for economic instability so that we can continue to deliver the services people need during difficult budget years.”
“Putting money aside is always a prudent thing to do, and I’ve been advocating for this for quite some time,” said District 3 Supervisor Susan Peters. “I’m glad that as a Board, we now share this approach to prudent fiscal management.”
“I also think that while salary savings are nice, and help us budget-wise, I’d like to see those positions get filled so that we can get more Park Rangers, Sheriff Deputies and other personnel on board and serving our communities,” MacGlashan added.
The County Executive will bring a long-term reserve policy back to the Board for approval in about a month.
For complete information on the budget review, see item #58 on the March 22, 2016 Agenda.