County Has $9.7 Million of Measure A Revenue up for Grabs

After spending most of this year’s anticipated Measure A revenue to pull out of a deficit and boost some service levels, Santa Clara County officials are looking for ways to spend a remaining $9.7 million of the 1/8 cent sales tax.

Voters in 2012 passed the sales tax measure, which is expected to raise a half-billion dollars over the next 10 years. The measure was crafted to take some of the burden off a budget hit by deficits in recent years, although there were some concerns about how the measure benefited its organizers. According to the county, the money would go to maintaining service levels in law enforcement and public safety, trauma and emergency room services, health coverage for low-income kids, economic development, housing for the homeless and programs to prevent student truancy.

Some $20 million went to maintain service and balance the current-year budget. Another $15.3 million went to expanding service in healthcare, housing and safety net services.

That leaves $9.7 million. Supervisors want county departments to submit proposals on how to spend that cash to Chief Operating Officer Gary Graves by mid-December. Submissions should answer the following questions:

• What is the unmet service or program that needs funding?
• How will the requested funding help address the unmet service or program need?
• What resources will be supported by the staff-requested funding (additional staff, equipment or training)?
• Is the requested funding needed on a one-time or ongoing basis?
• How will the impact of funding be evaluated?

More from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agenda for October 8, 2013:

• The county plans to spend $3 million in the 1/8-cent Measure A sales tax revenue on the Healthy Kids Program, which offers medical insurance to children from low-income families. Earlier this year, Ken Yeager, president of the county Board of Supervisors, tried to get the city of San Jose to continue funding the program. Mayor Chuck Reed wasn’t interested, noting the money Measure A would bring.

• A First 5 campaign to encourage women to breastfeed will cost the county $392,872 through 2015, if supervisors OK the program.

Supervisor Yeager wants to salvage plans to build a library in an underserved neighborhood in Santa Clara. When Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills that nixed redevelopment agencies in California, it halted a library project two decades in the making.  Santa Clara’s Northside Library would have been paid for with cash from the city’s now-defunct RDA, but responsibility was transferred last year to the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends. Yeager says the county should support future state legislation that would exempt the library from the city’s redevelopment dissolution.

“There may be more than one way that this situation can be resolved,” Yeager writes in a memo going before the board. “Modifying state law to allow the Northside Library to be exempt from the current requirement that all RDA funds be returned to the successor agency [to pay off debt] is one possible option.”

• Supervisor Joe Simitian is asking the county to explore the idea of implementing a grading or placard system for restaurants.

WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Office, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Lynn Regadanz, [email protected]

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

2 Comments

  1. Why does any agency have to spend any time the have a few extra dollars.  Has no one thought about putting money in reserve?  Hell they want to give 1K a month to lifers getting out of prison.  (x 37=37K a month for a year) That will suck up all that money in a hurry.

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