With budget estimates trending above projections, the Kern County Board of Supervisors simply filed away a tentative plan to address potential financial shortfalls during a meeting on Tuesday.
The 11-step plan is intended to be used quickly, and could still be implemented by a vote of the board should the need arise. With budget cuts, use of reserve funds, and a one day per month furlough for all non-safety employees, the plan could have drastic effects on county operations if it is put in place.
But Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop informed the board on Tuesday that county revenue was now forecast to exceed budget estimates by 3.5 percent thanks in part to a one-time property tax payment by California Resources Corporation, better than expected income from taxes and fees, and a payment from a class-action suit.
Still, if revenue falls lower than 1 percent to 5 percent of projections, the county could implement parts of the plan by a vote of the board.
“If you may recall, last year I was standing in front of you with revenue projections that looked good,” said Chief Financial Officer Elsa Martinez. “And the stay-at-home order hit, and we found ourselves rushing to come up with a plan to decide what to do. This plan will put us in a position that your board, the public and our employees will know what the expectations are.”