SAN LUIS OBISPO — On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will consider cutting 27.75 full-time equivalent positions in the current fiscal year as part of $26.3 million in budget cuts related to the 2019 Coronavirus Disease pandemic (COVID-19).
Ultimately, of the positions the Board will consider cutting on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 25.75 full-time positions are vacant and two are currently filled. The two directly affected employees have been notified and are being assisted.
“This is a very difficult decision. Like any local employer, we trust that our employees provide quality services and the last thing we want to do is cut positions,” said Wade Horton, County Administrative Officer. “We care about employees and want to continue to provide important public services to the people of SLO County when they need our help the most.”
In June, the Board approved budget reductions to address this year’s unprecedented budget impacts, including $6.5 million in departmental budget cuts, the use of one-time reserves in the amount of $12.8 million, and $6.9 million in voluntary savings directly from employees. As part of the $6.5 million in departmental budget cuts approved by the Board for some departments, cutting jobs was inevitable.
County departments tried to focus on cutting things that would not directly affect services to the public. The initial cuts included mostly non-labor items, from equipment replacements and training, to office supplies. The departments then examined the vacant positions to try to avoid layoffs. Details of the County reduction plan can be found online at: https://agenda.slocounty.ca.gov/iip/sanluisobispo/agendaitem/details/12282 .
A decrease in consumer spending related to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a significant loss in funding sources for the County. Simultaneously, the County is seeing an increase in overhead costs associated to increased demand for public services and the COVID-19 response.