Santa Clara County’s $8B Budget Funds Growing Workforce, New Hospitals, Major Projects

Santa Clara County passed an $8.1 billion budget that funds major projects, including the buy-out of three additional hospitals, and adds 1,800 new positions to the payroll.

“I’m pleased to see a balanced budget focusing on completing crucial initiatives, strengthening existing services and funding non-profit programs that benefit our community,” County Executive Jeff Smith said in a news release. “This budget is our last year of expansion before an economic downturn is upon us. Revenue growth is slowing down. Funding threats are expected from the state and federal governments. And the demand for services is expected to increase as the cost of services is expected to continue growing in the years ahead. Maintaining existing services and prudent spending are expected priorities for the future.”

The 2019-20 spending plan is nearly 16 percent bigger than last year’s, largely because the county acquired O’Connor and Saint Louise Regional hospitals and the DePaul Health Center in a $235 million deal earlier this spring.

Also included in the new budget is an expansion of the Valley Medical Center emergency room, a new animal services facility in South County, a Vietnamese-American community center and sweeping criminal justice reforms.

An ongoing overhaul of the county election system is another big priority this coming year, as well as building a new foster youth center and a facility for juvenile and adult psychiatric inpatient services.

The budget includes allocations for properties to accommodate the county’s growing workforce, which is approaching the 22,000-employee mark. Namely, $100 million to remodel an old Cisco Systems building in North San Jose and $5 million to spruce up an office complex on Silver Creek Valley Road.

Additionally, the Board of Supervisors made a combined 60 requests for $6.6 million in one-time grants for community organizations. Some $350,000 was pegged for Child Advocates of Silicon Valley and $325,000 for the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. The West Valley Community Services will receive $250,000 to expand its food pantry for needy families.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez proposed $45,000 for the George Mark Children’s House’s Pediatric Palliative Care Program. “This is an investment in creating a loving and supportive environment for critically ill children and their family members,” she said.

Another $5 million is set aside to preserve land through an agricultural conservation program, which lets an agency buy the development rights of a property while allowing farming to continue. The program targets the purchase of 12,000 acres at a cost of anywhere between $250 million and $500 million.

“This is just a start,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese, co-chair of the Agricultural Task Force that developed the conservation plan. “And a recognition that keeping our agricultural land is a priority of this County.  We will work to grow this funding through partnerships with the Open Space Authority and other agencies.”

Supervisor Mike Wasserman’s requested $50,000 to renovate the South Santa Clara Valley Memorial District Veterans Hall, and $75,000 for the YMCA of Silicon Valley’s Project Cornerstone, which supports anti-bullying campaigns in local schools.

“The current needs of our two million residents far outpace revenues, which makes this year’s budget a herculean balancing act,” he said. “I am pleased that we were able to dedicate $5 million for agricultural preservation easements and that two of my inventory items will help fund needed Veteran’s Hall renovations, as well as Project Cornerstone’s anti-bullying programs in 72 local schools.”

Among Supervisor Susan Ellenberg’s proposals is a $90,000 grant to the Bill Wilson Center to help house as many homeless youth as possible in 100 days. “No one should be living in their car, under bridges or near overpasses in our communities, especially our youth,” she said. “And after our last point-in-time count, which showed a rise in homelessness across our state, I believe that this investment in supporting our youth through an organization not only known as a leading expert in homeless youth policy but also a provider of housing sites for our youth, makes sense and is necessary.”

The board also established a general fund contingency reserve of $164 million.

“We’re fortunate to be living in relatively prosperous times,” board President Joe Simitian said. “But there are still so many folks who need our help.” Simitian noted, “even in good times, there’s always more we wish we could do; so our budget becomes more than just an accounting document, it’s the place where we identify our priorities, make hard choices and express our values.”

To review the entire budget document, click here.

8 Comments

  1. Santa Clara County Supervisors continue to show a lack of interest, or priority to families and Silicon Valley residents when budgeting costs and services that impact voters who live and work in the area. Less than 1 percent of this budget will go to help resolve issues of homelessness, mental health, education, wage disparity, white collar crime and taxpayer waste.

    Non- profits and social service agencies helping victims of violent and white collar crimes, families, immigrants, and children continue to be vastly underfunded.

    Union workers in the county operated hospitals continue to be grossly underpaid and most can not afford to live in the community where they work.

    Police officers continue to be vastly undertrained and work in a toxic culture that suppresses good cops trying to do an honest job to protect their community.

    Judges acting in local courts continue to be corrupt as public corruption officers are extinct in the county ( DDA John Chase has pursued no public corruption cases in the courts since the 2005 indictment of Willam Danser) and the State Auditor reports the judicial watchdog ( Commission on Judicial Performance, ” CJP” ) hasn’t done their job in decades and the State Bar is useless in protecting the public from bad lawyers.

    In 2017 the Santa Clara County Grand Jury reported that the failures in the DA’s office continues to pose a clear and present public danger. Victims wait too long for too little justice as Jeff Rosen prosecutes crimes to elevate his politician position, not to protect the public that elected him. The BOS keeps shoveling Rosen more money in what appears to be a form of protectionism that prevents Rosen from investigating elected officials who protect him.

    Worse are the supervisor’s consistent failure to address the county’s public schools; K-12, community colleges and SJSU campus. Susan Ellenberg, Dave Cortese, Cindy Chavez, Mike Wasserman and Joe Simitan have taken a position to pander to elite private colleges ( Stanford and Santa Clara ) and costly land and real estate deals on their campuses, rather than assuring children living in that housing are afforded the world class public education the $8 billion budget could certainly provide.

    Local Reporters should be looking harder at these politicians and undisclosed conflicts that require their recusal from voting on many of these budget items. Jeff Smith has led the way in dirty dealings in the county’s real estate negotiations for large tech companies.

    Dave Cortese is running for senate in 2020. Time to match up his campaign disclosures and press releases. On point reporters will do this and find much of it doesn’t add up ( Hint: Look at Ellenberg’s husband, the lawyer) and county accessor Larry Stone. Public records requests are the most important tools the media and local reporting is more important than reporting on Trump’s tweets everyday.

  2. The county supervisors supporting the non-profit organizations such as YWCA, community solutions, and other that spend their time kissing the supervisors’ A$$ES. Cindy Chavez what about your attorney allies from community “solutions” engaging in employment privacy violations after receiving a negative review on a community event? The other agency not event follows up to victims of domestic violence request for help. This is just a big scam. Gardner is known for discriminatory practices. To the best of my knowledge this organization is being investigated. AACI also engages in discriminatory practices. Catholic Charities is known for its abusive practices to most employees, and FACES has ugly FACES. Then you see all the executives of these agencies around the supervisors in order to support their big “non-profit” agencies’ Salaries!

  3. DA JEFF Rosen, the victim who was physically assaulted by her father, a former San José Police Officer and “current” Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy is waiting a call from your office. Per corrupted Gilroy Police Department, the report was sent to you by mid May. She was there in person today to obtain a copy of report. She was told she could not have a copy “…Per Government Code 6254 (f), this report is confidential and therefore not releasable at this time. Your request has been denied.” Gilroy Police Record Unit 498-846-0300. Your office ignored reports from this victim’s mother on domestic violence, forgery of her signatures to commit IRS fraud after marriage…This law enforcement guy also engaged in child porn watch, animal cruelty, psychological abuse of a minor, per forensic psychologist Rafael Padilla…This individual was protected by Judge Julia A Emede. The family law screener Lory Penn is the wife of this guy’s family law attorney Stephen Penn from Morgan Hill. The family law corruption and your office corruption caused this family hundreds of thousand dollars in family litigation, physical injury, and lots of emotional distress. Their story is the norm in Santa Clara County! RECALL JEFF ROSEN

  4. Today 06/19/19: The victim of the assault called Gilroy Police Department Records (408) 846-0300 to ask why her report was confidential and what she had to do to obtain a copy. The records operator informed her that she would have to go the DA’s office and request the report in person. Afterwards, the victim called the DA’s office to ask about the report’s status. The DA operator informed her that the only report that appeared under the case number she gave was for an incident in Sunnyvale. They also informed her that her name wasn’t even on the report. The victim then called Gilroy Police Department Records again and asked why the DA’s copy of the report had such blatant misinformation. The operator was unable to explain why.

    The victim also called the Mayor of Gilroy, Roland Velasco, to request an appointment concerning this report and the assault. She has made prior calls and emails to him, and he has failed to reply to her.

  5. Mr. Velasco, the Gilroy Police Department is such a corrupted public entity because it lacks ethical leadership. Is it your duty to protect all the Gilroy citizens or only those who belong to powerful unions to help you be re-elected? SHAME ON MAYOR VELASCO AND THE GILROY POLICE DEPARTMENT!

  6. California should do a better job at monitoring county’s spending. Our public dollars should support public colleges and Universities not Stanford, Palo Alto University, and Santa Clara University. We know a significant number of our public officials graduated from these private institutions. For this, their advocacy and hiring process benefits these private institutions. Google also hires mostly individuals from private institutions for the most important positions. This is a culture of the most influential individuals and institutions exerting their power over the not privileged individuals. Why SANTA Clara County has contracts with Stanford and PAU but not San Jose State University? This is a very sneaky way for these public institutions subsidizing their programs with our public tax dollars!

    • > Our public dollars should support public colleges and Universities not Stanford, Palo Alto University, and Santa Clara University.

      I can’t think of any good reason why there should be any public universities or colleges at all. Maybe with the exception of West Point or the Naval Academy.

      Public universities and colleges are, in theory, severely constrained in the stuff they can teach or even say. How does the public or students benefit from colleges and universities that are extremely costly to operate and can only talk about limited subject matter?

      Much of the history of Western Civilization is religious history, hopelessly co-mingled with Church history and religious politics. How does a “public university” explain THAT without triggering the separatists of the atheist lobby?

      Northwestern University once had a professor of engineering who was also a notorious “Holocaust denier”. How does that guy ever get a job even cleaning toilets in a “public university”?

      “Public university” is a synonym for higher education censorship.

  7. “DA says Gilroy Crime is Growing.” Velasco says his Gilroy Police are being “pro-active…” DA Jeff Rosen says there is a correlation between low SES and growing Gilroy crime. I say there is a positive correlation between public corruption at all levels in our county and low income level increase in crime but decrease in white collar crimes. Our supervisors, DA office, judiciary, engage in aiding and abetting white collar crime by action, ignoring, and rewarding corruption such as increasing Rosen’s salary. Rosen’s office focuses in non-violent crimes and ignores sophisticated crime by white collar criminals. They have formed a corruption coalition where all public officials and US representatives, Zoe Lofgren for example, ignore the corruption and criminal acts of our public officials, judiciary, attorneys, and other court people engage in this county corruption scam. How much corruption and abuse this county has to endure before something is done? RECALL ROSEN, Velasco and their sexually corrupted old boys club staff. They are not going to prosecute sexual crimes, Domestic Violence, theft, or other type of corruption. They are perpetrators themselves! Local agencies engage in courting CORTESE, Chavez, Lofgren, Rosen, judges…when there is White collar corruption to report, there is no one in this county that will listen or do anything. Rosen, your correlation claim is tampered by your high SES and public official favoritism biased lens!

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