Sheriff Youngblood and others speak out against proposed budget cuts for 2016-2017

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 20:37:13-04

The Board of Supervisors held a board meeting Tuesday to discuss the budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

"Budgeting use to be a 30 day event for all department heads," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said after the meeting.

"It's now year round. When this one is finalized, we'll start on next year's budget the next day."

Sheriff Youngblood is not the only leader in the public safety realm to voice his displeasure over the proposed 5% budget cuts that may take affect next fiscal year.

District Attorney Lisa Green and Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall also spoke before the Board of Supervisors, outlining the cuts that their departments have already made and how more cuts could be problematic for public safety in Kern County.

Some of the proposed budget cuts and how it could affect each department:

Kern County Sheriff's Office: $6.35 million 

  • Layoff 10 deputies and 16 deputy trainees
  • Partial closure of central receiving facility in Kern County Jail
  • Reductions to Gang and Narcotics Units
  • Inability to replace aging vehicles

District Attorney: $1.8 million

  • Delete 18 positions, including nine deputy district attorneys and two district attorney investigators

Kern County Fire Department: $7.2 million

  • Looking for $3.6 million from general fund
  • 30 layoffs to reach other $3.6 millon

Sheriff Youngblood said that he understands there isn't much money to go around, partly because of the declining oil prices, but wants the Board of Supervisors to look at other departments that could be cut more before turning to public safety positions.

"This is a different era, different world that we live in and I would just remind everyone that Orlando and San Bernardino, that's the new world that we live in and we can never lose sight of that."
The budget proposed at Tuesday's meeting is preliminary, and more discussions will be held before a finalized budget is determined.
The projected total budget for 2016-2017 is $2.4 billion. The projected general fund budget is $755 million, $66.5 million (8.1%) less than the budget for 2015-2016