SLO County facing huge budget shortfall, enacts hiring freeze

May 20, 2020

San Luis Obispo County is projecting a $32 million to $56 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year primarily because of the pandemic.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, officials said drops in consumer spending have prompted decreases in state and federal funding. In addition, while revenue from some county departments has decreased, spending related to the coronavirus has increased.

“We have many tough choices ahead of us,” said Wade Horton, county administrative officer. “To put this shortfall into perspective, the largest single-year gap closed during the most recent recession was $30 million, which is the low end of what we expect.”

SLO County is looking at ways to shore up the 5 to 10 percent shortfall including a hiring freeze. In addition, county officials are scrutinizing all discretionary spending.

“The public is invited to provide input at the county budget hearing scheduled for June 8 through 10,” according to a county press release.

Jorge Estrada

Let’s not talk about this, just continue to shelter in your pocket book.

Francesca Bolognini

This is a somewhat but not totally different situation from the pandemic of 1918. There were more difficulties at that time, like WW1, for instance, and other diseases that were presenting quite a challenge to health. Poverty, homelessness and food insecurity were rampant then as well. People thought negatively of the lockdown then, too. SO much so that they insisted on ending it. It was at that time that a resurgence of the flu, which had now mutated a bit, killed 10 X as many people as it had in the first wave. That is not rhetoric, or talking points or whatever, that is history.

The cities that rebounded the strongest and the fastest from that catastrophic pestilence were those that locked down first and longest. They sustained the least damage to their social fabric. Their workforce was healthier and less damaged by death, disruption of families and permanent damage to their health. Their systems were able to rise easily and become functional again rapidly.

The best strategy now is for our government to see that all of The People, who are the actual economy, have what we need to stay well and healthy and able to resume our duties as soon as it is safe to do so. We also need money in our pockets to put back into the local economy as soon as possible. We and our demand is what drives our economy. Giving all the handouts to multinational corporations that do not pay taxes and employ foreign labor or fire their workers even after they receive the handout which they keep for themselves or hand out to shareholders will not help us recover. Make it clear to your legislators that you understand this.

IT IS OUR MONEY. THEY SHOULD BE GIVING IT TO US NOW, WHEN WE NEED IT. We should not need to raid our retirement, either. That just kicks the poverty can down the road while they continue to give OUR MONEY to the .01%. If you don’t believe me, look into how these “stimulus” packages are being apportioned. We are not getting squat compared to what they are taking from us. DEMAND BETTER. At the federal level, where the real BS is taking place.

As for the emergency facility at Cal Poly? We still don’t know for sure we won’t end up needing it. What if we did and didn’t have it? You would have been the first to complain. We need to learn from both history and science. Good leadership hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst.

And regarding 1918, what came directly after all that death, devastation and economic upheaval? The roaring ’20’s! I would suggest that we make sure to reinstall the Glass – Stiegel legislation that was enacted AFTER the crash that came along next, to protect our country from further depressions brought about by Wall St. Please remember that they can be “doing great” when the average household in America can’t meet a $400 emergency. They are not “the economy”,



Bravo … and $19 billion goes to farm subsides … ripoff.

And Trump’s campaign manager’s firm …

and other campaign firm:

They know they have lost and are cashing in.


If ever there was an opportunity to get serious about finances. This. Is. It.

Make cuts like there’s no tomorrow and blame COVID. It’s literally a get out of jail free card.


County Social Services should be first on the chopping block. Lots of unproductive dead weight there, but what else would you expect from people whose job it is to disperse welfare?

If you don’t believe me, hang around Granada/Empleo/Prado area off South Higuera in SLO where they have two buildings. On any given day, you will see packs of women all over on their exercise walks. Anything but an honest day’s work for a day’s pay.

Your tax dollars at work.


Also, let’s not forget the revenue saved by building that 900 bed facility at the Cal Poly Rec Center!

That only cost 3.8 million to build. I have no idea how much it cost to staff….since they’ve never had any inmates….er patients. Sorry. Can’t be more than a million so far…….and figure it’s going to cost at least 2 million to disassemble.

So right there the county saved nearly 7 million. Because if they built an entire empty hospital it would have cost twice as much as building an empty 900 bed facility……so lots of good decisions have saved lots of money…..

I can’t help thinking about how much money could be saved by the county if they just forbid all commerce and tourism. Enough to give them all raises and boosts to their Bennie’s for sure.

So…..yeah. Basically we’ve got to spend money to save money and we can save even more by going into debt. At least that’s what county leaders believe.

Your individual mileage may vary…..


From a July 2, 2019 story by Josh Friedman, CCN, “San Luis Obispo County … has a staffer who collects more than $500,000 a year in total pay, while another six employees receive more than $300,000 in compensation and 80 workers make more than $200,0000, according to a database of California public employees’ salaries and benefits.” Why is the County paying these levels of salaries and benefits? Can’t we hire someone else? The Board of Supervisors has five members. Can’t a majority become fiscally conservative?


here comes the tax increase “for our police and first responders”


You for forget, ‘…and the children.”


that’ll be a separate tax


actually what will interesting is if test scores go up after all the home schooling thats been going on.


Typical governmental agency – no foresight to expect that the pandemic might have required hiring freeze, or God forbid layoffs two months ago.


Well, for starters I think the geniuses at the county need to put out more “stay away, do not visit us” ads to keep tourists away. Tourism is a major boost to the county coffers….so let’s limit it as much as possible.

Next, we can all rejoice in the soon closure of Diablo Canyon and MindBody. Both were a source of revenue for the county. Closing down Cal Poly is also a great idea, as it limits the amounts of rent collected, not to mention sales tax, etc.

Continue to block off the parking lots at the beach, of course. Close the dunes permanently and forever. This will definitely create a decrease in county revenue.

So, that’s the short-term plan for recovery.

Next step: Raise all taxes and fines on local residents. Decrease services—except for police. We all need to be policed even more now that we’re poor, because poverty creates crime.

Final step: give everyone who works for the county a huge raise for doing a great job. Increase benefits and so forth in order to attract the best and brightest.

This should solve the problem.

Summary: reduce budget shortfalls by killing major sources of revenue.


Your daily reminder that the people prohibiting you from working haven’t missed a paycheck…


Makes ya wonder how many of those leftist online scolds disparaging private sector people over the lockdown were just government employees sitting on their asses at home and still being paid.