SLO County getting $54.9 million in COVID-19 funding, how will it be spent?

March 20, 2021

SLO County Administrator Wade Horton

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County is in line to receive an estimated $54.9 million as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, and two supervisors have been selected to develop a plan on how to spend the funds.

Instead of the entire board conducting public workshops on how the funds will be doled out, county staff suggested a two-supervisor committee comprised of John Peschong and Bruce Gibson, who can meet and confer in private. Peschong made the motion for the ad-hoc committee, which was seconded by Gibson.

Supervisors Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold argued that all five supervisors should work together on the proposed spending plan.

Responding to their concerns, SLO County Administrator Wade Horton said Compton and Arnold could give him suggestions that he would relay to Gibson and Peschong.

County Counsel Rita Neal then told Horton he needed to be careful not to violate the Brown Act.

The Brown Act prohibits serial communications, which are communications relayed to at least three supervisors, although the supervisors are not present at a publicly posted and conducted Brown Act meeting. This could also include Horton promoting his plan for an ad-hoc committee to three or more supervisors prior to last Tuesday’s meeting.

Compton also voiced concerns that a two-man committee dilutes the views of the majority of the board.

Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg said she supported her fellow female supervisors, before admitting she could not remember one of their names and voting against them.

Peschong, Gibson and Ortiz-Legg voted for the ad-hoc committee comprised of Gibson and Peschong. Compton and Arnold dissented.

The county is slated to receive half of funding in the next 60 days, with the remainder of the money arriving no earlier than 12 months after the first payment.

Funds can be used to:

  • Respond to COVID-19 emergencies
  • Provide aid to households, businesses, nonprofits, tourism and hospitality
  • Provide premium pay to essential employees
  • Provide government services impacted by the pandemic
  • Investment in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure

After Peschong and Gibson develop their spending plan, the remaining board members will have an opportunity to provide input.


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Boldguy

How about doing something radical with the money!!!

Like supporting Covid patients and their families with after care resources as well as the financial devastation that these families are having to withstand:(

Insurance does a good job with ICU costs, afterwards not so much:(


aye-caramba

We will regret this spending binges…. everyone …the eventual economic downfall will affect ALL. This is neither sound, nor wise. Inflation will eventually break through. It has happened everywhere at various times in history. The thing that gets me is WHY do we feel so immune from these outcomes always?


coyote

Just more funny money that has been printed with nothing to back it up. A fraction of the trillions that the taxpayers will never be able to pay back , especially with the “secret” inflation that is already skyrocketing. This money is truly a dream come true for the government types though, with all the agency heads just drooling over the prospects.


fish

we all have an opinion on spending. I trust the right decision will be made hopefully it’s not the black hole.


shelworth

Let’s see, who has suffered the most during these shutdowns, oh yeah, small businesses. Oh, can’t use the money to help them? Oh well. Hey, how about reducing our taxes by 54.9 million dollars?


derasmus

In my opinion, not one dollar of it should be used for ANY County employee salary, pay, or benefits. ZERO!


The focus should be on those non govt entities (ie Food Bank, etc) that have been holding down the fort over the past year. Also, small grants to small businesses, especially in unincorporated areas. Then maybe put some away in an interest bearing acct. for an emergency fund for the next time something like this happens.


Please , don’t let fire and public safety suck it all up.


sbjcl

Meet and confer in private? How about open meetings and public input. Looks like a another money grab by the bureaucrats. A windfall for unfunded pension obligations, deficit spending sprees and fat raises for top level administrators.


kayaknut

How will it be spent?, we all know, more salary, benefits and pensions for the government elite.


Nightrider

Dawn, Get another bong hit,

Lynn, your the Chair, WTF,

SLO County?

This Money was Ripped off of TAXPAYERS MONIES AND IS ABOUT TO GET WASTED HERE,

Out of Control Government overreach at it’s finest.

Clowns to the Right,

Jokers to the Left.


horse_soldier

The chair has one vote just as the others.

The concern here is Horton, and Peshong agreeing to this.


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