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County Budget Eliminates 60 Positions

Proposal that heads to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday includes 24 layoffs.

Marin County Administrator Matthew Hymel will present the county's 2011-12 budget to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The $440.6 million operating budget is 0.7 percent less than last year's budget, and the $372.4 general fund budget is 0.4 percent less than the 2010-11 budget, Marin County's budget manager Dan Eilerman said.

Marin supervisors have already approved $4.3 million in cuts to balance the 2011-12 budget, and Hymel is proposing an additional $1.3 million in reductions, Eilerman said.

The $5.6 million in total reductions eliminates 60 positions in the general fund budget, including 24 potential layoffs that are part of the additional $1.3 million reduction, Eilerman said. Twelve of the 24 layoffs will occur because the county is closing its obstetrical clinical services program at the Health and Wellness Campus
in San Rafael, Eilerman said.

When the county opened the clinic 18 years ago, no other agency provided women's health services, Eilerman said.

Marin Community clinics now provide comprehensive primary care and obstetrical services and they are able to receive significantly higher federal reimbursements than the county, Eilerman said. In addition, Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in Mill Valley in February.

The latest $1.3 million round of reductions will impact 40-50 employees, Eilerman said.

There has been a hiring freeze in the county since 2007 that has resulted in the elimination of more than 200 positions, 85 percent of which were reduced through attrition, saving the county $30 million over four years, Eilerman said.

Marin County has set aside $5 million in anticipation of an anticipated loss of state revenue for county programs, Eilerman said. County departments also will develop contingency plans to reduce spending further once the state budget impacts are known, Eilerman said.

Marin County is still feeling the effects of reduced sales and property tax revenue and has taken a multi-year approach to balance its budget Eilerman said.

"The proposed budget reflects our fourth consecutive year of budget reductions to adapt to our new economic reality," Hymel said.

Board of Supervisors President Susan Adams said the county is in better financial shape than others because of prudent and efficient fiscal management and living within its means.

The Board of Supervisors has scheduled budget hearings for June 20 and 22 at 1 p.m.

--Bay City News Service

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