Supervisors Look for Budget Answers

Kicking off the first of three budget workshops this week, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors launched on Tuesday the first review of a proposed budget that will have to cut $219.6 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith has recommended a budget that balances the county’s $4 billion budget through program and service cuts, use of one-time revenue and layoffs. The budget takes into account all services, operations, capital improvements and reserves.

The proposed budget calls for an estimated 110 layoffs, 122 county employees would be bumped to lower-paying positions, and 300 would be transferred to different departments, Smith said today. Layoffs and reductions would not be implemented until August at the earliest.

The county’s budget is contingent upon the overall economy. A strong economy means more tax revenue for programs and services. During a weak economy, the county is adversely affected in that revenue decreases as demand for county safety net services increases.

Similar to San Jose, the county is facing its 10th consecutive year of budget deficits.

The workshops will continue through Thursday. Budget hearing meetings to make final decisions on the budget will take place from June 13-17.


  1. How much are the yearly operating costs for lightrail?

    If lightrail were decommissioned would anybody but the drug dealers even notice?

  2. I heard less than 1% of the population in Almaden valley rides Light Rail or the bus VTA. What a waste of $$. Cut public transit. no one rides it except Drug dealers and Drunks!

  3. Supervisors are looking for budget answers?  They must not be looking very hard.

    “The operating costs for light rail are expected to increase by $3 million in the next few years and will eventually add $6 million to the current $38 million operating budget.”

    “Measured against six other comparable transit agencies in the United States, including Muni, the VTA’s system underperforms on ridership as well as resource efficiency. Despite having one of the most populated service areas and one of the highest population densities by service area, the VTA serves the second lowest number of bus and light-rail trips annually. From an operating perspective, the VTA serves the fewest bus trips and light-rail trips per revenue hour of the six operators, while also having very high costs per revenue hour for both bus and light rail. The VTA has the lowest farebox recovery rate, at 12 percent, and the highest cost per trip served. In addition to low productivity, the VTA’s fixed transit infrastructure is poorly used: It has the lowest trip density per light-rail route-mile of the six transit agencies.”

    Kill Lightrail.  Kill it now.  Keep killing it until we’re completely sure it’s killed.

    Good f’ing grief.

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