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In 2018, voters passed Regional Measure 3 (RM3) which increased bridge tolls in the Bay Area and also established an Independent Oversight Committee. Each of 9 Bay Area counties appoint two members to the Committee. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is seeking two members of the public to serve.
The RM3 Independent Oversight Committee (oversight committee) will be established by the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) pursuant to Senate Bill 595 (which placed RM 3 on the ballot). The purpose of the Oversight Committee is to ensure that any toll revenues generated pursuant to the RM3 toll increase are expended consistent with the applicable requirements of the RM3 expenditure plan set forth in Streets and Highways Code Section 30914.7. The Oversight Committee shall annually review the expenditure of funds by BATA for the projects and programs specified in Section 30914.7 and prepare and submit a report to the transportation committee of each house of the Legislature summarizing its findings.
An individual interested in serving on the Committee must be a resident of Contra Costa County and meet the Streets and Highways Code Section 30923 (h) (3) restrictions below:
- A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be a member, former member, staff, or former staff of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) or BATA.
- A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be employed by any organization or person that has received or is receiving funding from MTC or BATA.
- A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be a former employee or a person who has contracted with any organization or person that has received or is receiving funding from MTC or BATA within one year of having worked for or contracted with that organization or person.
The RM3 Oversight Committee is subject to open public meetings (The Brown Act). Meeting dates, frequency, and length of meetings will be established by the members of the committee. The location of meetings will be in San Francisco at the Bay Area Metro Center. BATA anticipates a stipend to members for meeting attendance. The term length for representatives is four years, and each representative is limited to two terms.
Applications are available online at https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/3418 or by contacting the Clerk of the Board’s Office at (925) 335-1900 or email@example.com. Completed applications are due by 5 PM on August 9, 2019, and may be completed and submitted online, emailed to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, mailed or submitted to 651 Pine Street, Room 106, Martinez, CA 94553.
7.5% for Sheriff and 5% for top brass, then 5% annually for three more years
By Daniel Borsuk
Without asking one question, supervisors unanimously approved a salary boost for Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston and his top brass during their meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. The proposed labor contract for rank and file deputies also received the supervisors’ approval
Except for a 7.5 percent wage increase for Sheriff-Coroner Livingston set to go into effect July, 1, 2019, he and his top commanders, including assistant sheriff-exempt, chief police-contract agency exempt, commander exempt and undersheriff exempt will receive 5 percent wage increases every July 1 in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, a memo from County Administrator David Twa states.
Twa said the salary increases will cost the county $177,000 in fiscal year 2019/2020, including $81,000 in benefit costs. The fiscal year 2020/2021 cost is $173,000, including $79,000 in benefit expenses. The fiscal year 2021/2022 cost is $181,000, including $85,000 in benefit costs, and the fiscal year 2022/2023 costs are $191,000, including $88,000 in benefit costs.
In a related matter, supervisors approved memorandums of understanding for new labor contracts between the Contra Costa County and Deputy Sheriffs Association Management Unit and Deputy Sheriffs Association Rank and File Unit. Collectively the two contracts will cost the county $6.57 million including $1.68 million in benefit costs for fiscal year 2019/2020, $13.14 million including $3.37 million in benefit costs for fiscal year 2020/2021; $19.71 million including $5.05 million in benefit costs for fiscal year 2021/2022; and $26.28 million including $6.64 million in benefit costs for fiscal year 2022/2023.
By Daniel Borsuk
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a status-quo $3.69 billion budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year at Tuesday’s meeting, but supervisors made more noise about the possibility they could be pushed to propose a countywide sales tax measure to cover rising labor and health care costs averaging about 3 percent for 2019-2020.
“We need some type of local tax revenue, but there is nothing under consideration right now,” Board Chair John Gioia of Richmond told the Contra Costa Herald after supervisors approved next fiscal year’s spending plan that attracted several critics of Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston’s $10 million budget increase request over recent charges one deputy had sexually and physically abused female inmates at the West County Detention Facility. That deputy has been dismissed by the sheriff.
When County Administrator David Twa initially presented the 2019-2020 tentative budget at an April 23 meeting, supervisors had sparingly talked around the tax issue idea, but at the May 7 meeting all five supervisors were more outspoken about the potential tax idea.
Citing how Alameda County produces $150 million in annual revenue from its sales tax, Gioia said, “We struggle with less.” In addition to Alameda County, San Mateo and San Francisco counties financially benefit from revenue coming from a sales tax.
“John is absolutely right, “said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover. “We need another revenue source. We need to continue to grow our resources.”
District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis hinted she could possibly support a sales tax measure given the current state of the county’s inability to deliver public services while adequately fulfilling the financial and health benefit needs of employees. “We are leveraging our dollars and our employees. We can do better,” Burgis said.
Vice Chair Candace Andersen doubted a countywide sales tax measure would win voter support. “I don’t know how a sales tax measure would get passed by the voters,” the supervisor from Danville said.
Supervisors OK DA Investigators Association Labor Pact
Supervisors unanimously approved a new four-year labor contract with the District Attorney Investigators’ Association. Investigators will earn from $8,293.27 per month to $11,480.60 per month based on seniority. The contract runs from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023.
8-Unit Pacheco Townhouse Approved
Without opposition from the public, supervisors unanimously approved developer Andy Akay’s plans to construct an eight-unit townhouse subdivision development at 214 Center Ave. in Pacheco. The three-story development will be constructed on a vacant .49-acre parcel of property. Each unit will have a two-car garage. The two bedroom and three-bedroom units will have living areas of 2,199 square feet to 2,203 square feet each.
Chaplaincy Services Contract Approved
Supervisors also approved as a consent item a Sheriff-Coroner contract with the Bay Area Chaplains, Inc. for an amount not to exceed $162,000. The Bay Area Chaplains will provide chaplaincy services in adult detention facilities from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Services will include providing materials, counseling, bible studies, worship services and responding to crisis and emergencies involving inmates or staff.
The Contra Costa County Supervisors were presented Tuesday a proposed $3.69 billion budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 that sparked dialogue among supervisors of potentially developing a new tax source in order to support the county’s growing service needs, especially in the areas of health, medical, employment and human services.
The proposed 2019-2020 budget consists of $1.7 billion in county imposed general fund revenue that is approximately the same level of local tax revenue budgeted for the current 2018-2019 fiscal year. State and federal funds make up the other $2 billion in budget revenue.
Supervisors voted 4-0 to instruct county administrator David Twa to present the budget for adoption at its May 7 meeting. Vice chair Candace Andersen of Danville was absent at the time of the vote.
“After several years of relative stability, we now enter a period of needing to adjust our county budget to meet challenges due to uncertainties to countywide revenue streams (especially in the Health Services and the Employment & Human Services departments), compounded by sharply rising wage and benefit costs,” County Administrator Twa wrote in his 2019-2020 budget presentation. CCCo Budget Presentation 19-20 Draft
In the 2019-2020 fiscal year county officials plan to wrap up labor negotiations with the Physicians and Dentists Organization that represents workers in the Health and Human Services and at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Clinics, the District Attorney Investigators Association, the Deputy Services Association and the In-Home Supportive Services Association.
Even in a good economy, Contra Costa County employees find themselves underpaid on average 5 percent to 8 percent of what their counterparts earn at similar jobs in the Bay Area. Supervisors listened to a number of speakers representing the county’s health care system, Contra Costa CARES, that the county needs to boost salaries of its healthcare workers 8 percent if it expects to retain employees.
For next fiscal year, county medical director Anna Roth proposed that the supervisors approve a 3 percent cost of living adjustment, designate $135 million in county general funds, count on $1.6 billion in revenues, but expect expenses of $1.8 billion. The department plans to expand the West County Behavioral Health Center next year, she said.
“We’ve got some work to do,” said District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill upon noticing a projected a combined general fund deficit from health services and human services of at least $30 million.
Noting how other Bay Area counties like San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo can adequately pay county workers because of additional tax revenues streaming in from property and sales tax sources, board chair John Gioia of Richmond said, “Other counties have robust tax revenue resources. We don’t have that.”
“You say we need more money,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg. “We have to be creative.”
Employment and Human Services Director Kathy Gallagher said to balance her department’s budget for 2019-2020 she will have to eliminate 67 positions. For next fiscal year, EHS will have 1,904 fulltime positions in order to operate its diverse operations such as Adult Protection Services that has undergone some criticism for alleged financial abuse of its clients.
Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston has proposed a $7 million increase for salaries and benefits for his 685 sworn officers and 350 non-sworn personnel. For next fiscal year, the sheriff plans to hire three additional sworn officers. Planning for a proposed 128 bed mental health facility for the West County Detention Center in Richmond is back on track after being sidelined for rising construction costs, mostly related to steel tariffs.
With $44 million proposed for the District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Diana Becton plans to increase staffing in the human trafficking unit by $1 million. The DA Office has 222.5 positions on the payroll of which 102 are attorneys, 33 are investigators, 17 are victim/witness experts, and 70.5 are administrative support.
A $3.7 million project at Buchanan Air Field is one of the big tasks on drawing boards for the Public Works Department next fiscal year, department director Brian Balbas said, but the biggest challenge is retaining staff. With a $254 million budget and 545 employees, Balbas said his department is hampered by a high turnover rate of more than 20 percent when workers find better paying jobs at other counties or in the private sector. “The focus for 2019/2020 will be in recruitment and retention,” he told supervisors.
Public Defender Robin Lipesky said in addition to handling 6,900 misdemeanor cases, 3,747 felony cases, and 450 bail hearings, her department handled 600 Stand Together Contra Costa legal consultations, a new duty of her department. Citing a decline in the county’s juvenile population and a decline in the juvenile hall population, the department plans to cut 22 juvenile justice positions, she said.
Supervisors Salary Ordinance Approved
On a 3-2 vote, with supervisors Candace Andersen of Danville and Diane Burgis of Brentwood casting the dissenting votes, supervisors approved an ordinance that will raise their salaries at an established percentage, 65 percent of the annual salary of the Office of Superior Court Judge, effective January 1, 2021.
Effective June 30, each supervisor will earn a monthly base salary of $9,736.75, equivalent to an annual salary of $116,841.
From July 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019 supervisors will each earn an annual salary equal to 60 percent of the annual salary for the Office of Superior Court Judge as prescribed by the state legislature. Supervisors will receive another salary boost effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 at a base of 63 percent of a Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge. A third and final salary hike equal to 65 percent of the annual salary for the Office of Superior Court Judge in Contra Costa County would go into effect after January 1, 2021.
In addition to the pay increases, each supervisor will receive reimbursement for “reasonable expenses incurred in the conduct of such office” and “eligibility for an eighty-five-dollar monthly contribution to the county’s deferred compensation plan in the same manner as other exempt management employees.”
Each supervisor will also receive an automobile allowance of $600 per month and, in addition to the automobile allowance, mileage at the rate per mile allowed by the Internal Revenue Service as a deductible expense, for all miles driven by the supervisor on county business outside that supervisor’s district.
Supervisors OK Revised WCCTAC Transit Mitigation Fee
In other business, supervisors unanimously approved revised property transportation mitigation fees developers in unincorporated parts of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee area of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo that have been in place since 1997.
No one spoke either in favor of or in protest against the fees that are assessed to go towards construction of transportation projects.
Since the inception of the WCCTAC transit mitigation fees in 1997, $11.6 million has been raised to help alleviate transportation impacts from residential, commercial or industrial development, said John Cunningham of the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department.
Revenues from the transit mitigation fee cover 19 percent of the construction costs of transit projects in the WCCTAC area. Some of those projects include $9,672 towards a $50,903 San Pablo Avenue complete streets project, $156 for the I-580/Harbour Way Interchange pedestrian and bicycle access improvements, $10,175 for the Hercules Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, and $20,749 for capital improvements to the I-80 Express Bus Service.
Accessory dwelling units are exempt from the revised transit mitigation fees that will go into effect July 1, 2020 and will increase or decrease every July 1 thereafter based by the annual percentage change in the Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index for the San Francisco Bay Area for the 12 month period ending with the February index of the same year in which the increase or decrease will take effect
The new WCCTAC transit mitigation fees are multi-family residential, $5,439 per dwelling unit; senior housing, $1,469 per dwelling unit; hotel, $3,481 per hotel unit; retail/service, $6.59 per square foot; office, $8.12 per square foot; industrial, $5.56 per square foot; storage facility, 0.76 per square foot; and other, $7 per square foot.
Red Cross Community Services Award Recipients
As a consent items, supervisors adopted resolutions honoring Bryan Canty of Antioch as recipient of the 2019 Red Cross Good Samaritan Award, Samantha Barhouse, also of Antioch, as recipient of the 2019 Red Cross Disaster Service Award, and the San Damiano Retreat Center of Danville, as the recipient of the 2019 Red Cross Community Service Award.
Hopes other financial institutions will follow suit during government shutdown
Washington, DC – Today, Thursday, January 10, 2019, on the eve of over 800,000 federal workers missing their regularly scheduled paychecks due to the government shutdown, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) sent a letter to the Consumer Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, and the Mortgage Bankers Association recognizing credit unions for offering interest-free loans to federal workers. The letter also highlights DeSaulnier’s hope that other financial institutions will follow suit.
“Several credit unions across the country have begun offering interest-free loans to impacted federal workers. I applaud these organizations for prioritizing customer well-being and am certain that this will be of great assistance to countless workers and families,” wrote DeSaulnier.
If the government shutdown continues into tomorrow, January 11th, over 800,000 federal workers will miss their scheduled paychecks, and the impact will be felt across the country. Eighty-five percent of the federal workforce resides outside of the District of Columbia. For instance, in California over 37,000 federal workers and their families will miss a paycheck.
“There are opportunities to prevent potentially catastrophic consequences for millions of Americans through cooperation and compassion. I will continue to work in Congress to re-open the government and ensure public employees and contractors are paid, and I appreciate those companies that are stepping up to help during this difficult time,” DeSaulnier continued.
Full text of the letters can be found here.
The first year of BART’s Measure RR Bond-funded rebuilding work is already paying off for our riders. BART’s on-time performance rate has increased to 93.6%. That’s BART’s highest on-time rate in four years and is thanks in part to the infrastructure improvements supported by RR along with several years of greater attention to incident management, quality maintenance, and system rehabilitation. As we roll out more projects, we anticipate the on-time performance to improve exponentially.
Measure RR Spending and Projects
So far, BART has spent nearly $70 million from the $3.5 billion bond measure passed by voters in November 2016. Based on performance to date, the projects that are underway are on time and on budget. Much of the initial effort has been heavily focused on engineering and issuing the first installment of bonds worth $300 million. This early work isn’t very visible to the public but that will soon change. The year ahead will bring the launch of multi-year projects that include new escalators and modernized stations that will have a big impact on our riders. We will also continue to perform behind-the-scenes infrastructure upgrades that will further boost our reliability. Staying one step ahead of maintenance troubles is at the heart of RR.
The Measure RR Bond Oversight Committee is keeping track of how funds are spent. The Committee’s mandate is to provide diligent oversight that all spending is authorized and that projects are completed in a timely, cost-effective, and high-quality manner. The Bond Oversight Committee is made up of community members with expertise in different disciplines from finance to engineering to project management.
Today, the BART Board of Directors is acknowledging the work of this volunteer committee and receiving its first annual report. Click here to dig into the report and all its details.
By Dan Borsuk
Contra Costa voters could see a cannabis industry tax measure on the November 6 ballot after supervisors on Tuesday thrashed through statistics and ideas on what route to take in complying with the 2016 passage of state Proposition 64.
Determined to assemble a cannabis tax ordinance by an August 10 deadline in order to file a tax measure ballot for the November election, supervisors, under the guidance of Julie Enea of the County Administrator’s Office, presented a cannabis business tax levy proposal assembled by HdL, the Crescent City-based consulting firm hired by the county to assist the county in developing an ordinance in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 64, the 2016 state initiative that legalized the sale of recreational marijuana.
The proposed cannabis business tax levy sets initial and maximum rates for eight license types. Those proposed rates are:
- Cultivator: Indoor, artificial lighting: 7/ft. initial rate, $10/ft. maximum rate.
- Cultivator: Greenhouse, mixed lighting: $4/ft initial rate, $7/ft. maximum rate.
- Cultivator: Outdoor, natural light: $2 ft. initial rate, $4 ft. maximum rate.
- Cultivator Nursery: $1/ft. initial rate: $2/ft. maximum rates.
- Manufacturer/Non-retail microbusiness: 2.5 % of gross receipts initial rate, 4% of gross receipts maximum rate.
- Testing: Not Available; initial rate: 2.5% percent of gross receipts maximum rate.
- Distribution: 2% of gross receipts initial rate; percent maximum rate.
- Retailer/Retail microbusiness: 4% of gross receipts initial rate and 6% of gross receipts maximum rate.
The supervisors’ cannabis tax ordinance proposal still requires a public hearing slated for July 10 when supervisors are expected to take official action on the tax ordinance proposal as well as the cannabis health ordinance. The cannabis health ordinance will not appear on the November ballot.
During the supervisor’s proceedings on Tuesday, citizens and supervisors alike were concerned the amount of money the county would raise from a cannabis tax might fall short of the mark in adequately enforcing the law, especially the health ordinance.
Since enactment of Proposition 64 beginning this year, the state has collected only $34 million in tax revenue of the anticipated $175 million. The state is considering shelving a plan to cut the excise tax from 15 percent to 11 percent even though cannabis sales are not as brisk as anticipated.
Board chair Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said the board should model the tax ordinance measure so that it requires a two-thirds majority voter approval, have an oversight committee and be reviewed yearly for adjustments based on the consumer price index.
“We’re going to impose this tax to cover our costs,” said District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville, who represents a district where a number of citizens have aired widespread opposition to Proposition 64’s implementation.
Shawn Casey of First 5, a pro children’s organization, proposed that the county create with cannabis revenues a fund to aid children harmed by the effects of cannabis.
“I’m in favor of reasonable regulation,” said Vickie Norris of Friends of Proposition 64. “I’m in favor of a tax.” Norris noted Contra Costa’s tax proposal that HdL prepared won’t price out businesses like what occurred in Berkeley which had to scale back its retail sales tax which was 35%.
“The legal market is taking a piece out of the black market,” said HdL’s Mark Lovelace. “Thirty percent of the marijuana remains in the black market.”
Supervisors OK 2018-2019 Budget Proposal
In speedy action, supervisors voted 5-0 in approving a $3.5 billion 2018-2019 recommended budget without public fanfare. Supervisors will officially adopt the budget in September. The spending plan is an increase from $3.1 billion for the current 2017-2018 fiscal year.
482,055 Square Foot North Richmond Warehouse Approved
Without hearing any opposition, supervisors unanimously approved a 482,055 square foot warehouse-distribution project that could create up to 800 jobs in the North Richmond. Construction of the proposed Panattoni Warehouse project at 500 Pittsburg Ave. could get underway in the first quarter of 2019.
District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, who represents the North Richmond development site owned by Redus EL LLC, said the Panattoni Warehouse project is the first of at least two other similar warehouse distribution projects that are in the pipeline that will come before the supervisors in the near future.
Gioia refused to provide details about the other two warehouse-distribution projects.
“This is just not a warehouse,” the supervisor said. Upon commenting how the North Richmond area is in a stage of transition from residential to warehouse, the supervisor said, “North Richmond has become ground zero for the fulltime warehouse area that is patterned after AMAZON, the type of company the gets products out sooner.”
In approving the project at Pittsburg Avenue and Richmond Parkway, supervisors approved a number of “traffic calming measures” in order to minimize the environmental impacts from more than 100 truck trips during peak period AM and PM periods. Those traffic calming measures include “chokers and bulbouts.”
The developer will install solar power and plant 200 trees to replace 21 old trees that need to removed from the project site. A 1.3-acre area site has been designated for a gas station with a mini-mart that will be constructed sometime after the warehouse-distribution building is constructed.
Contra Costa County Administrator, David Twa, has proposed a $3.5 Billion ($1.6 Billion General Fund) Budget for FY 2018-19 that is balanced and will provide critical services to the residents of Contra Costa County. Twa said that “the proposed spending plan includes funding increases to community service providers, allows the County to continue building its financial reserves, provides funding for new capital projects including a new Emergency Operations Center, and supports the county workforce of over 9,500 Employees.”
Chair of the County Board, Karen Mitchoff, said that “while the County is well positioned going into the next fiscal year, there continues to be storm clouds on the horizon.” She pointed out that “State and Federal funding combined with the County’s limited discretionary revenues will continue to fall short of the rising costs necessary to provide critical services to County residents.”
While the Budget includes $13 million in additional funding for Public Works projects as a result of the Gas Tax passed last year by the Legislature, (SB 1) there is a proposed repeal effort that may be on the November election ballot. Chair Mitchoff said that “If repealed, this would substantially reduce the ability of the County to meet necessary road and bridge repair projects.”
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to adopt the Budget for 2018-19 during its regularly scheduled session on May 8, 2018 in the Board Chambers at 651 Pine St., Martinez.
In era of federal funding uncertainty
Contra Costa County Supervisors are poised to approve on May 8 a $3.5 billion 2018-19 budget realizing that during the upcoming budget year there is the likelihood significant funding cuts out of Washington might especially hit human services programs.
“The current administration in Washington is likely to reduce funding to states and counties,” county administrator David Twa warned supervisors at Tuesday’s board budget hearing.
Even with that caution, supervisors did not blink an eye and proceeded to listen to six budget presentations from department chiefs about what is in store for the upcoming 2018-2019 fiscal year. Supervisors did not comment about the prospects of federal or state cuts next fiscal year at the hearing, but neither did any of the meager number of persons who showed up to speak about the proposed 2018-19 spending plan.
The Employment & Human Services Department is subject to perhaps the most significant funding cuts from Washington, EHSD Director Kathy Gallagher told supervisors. Since 2017, funding for the department’s CalFresh and CalWorks programs that deliver food and job training for 65,000 residents has had federal funding trimmed from $101.5 million in 2016 to $90.4 million to 2018. More cuts are expected for the two programs in the upcoming 2018-19 fiscal year, she said.
Gallagher painted a bleak federal funding fiscal picture showing a watch list of human service programs that could potentially be hit with steep federal funding cuts. Some of those programs include Medicaid, Community Service Block Grants, Child Welfare Services, and the Older American Act, which includes Meals on Wheels.
Federal funding uncertainty also hovers over County Health Services, but not as severely as what EHSD faces, Contra Costa County Health Director Anna M. Roth told supervisors, in presenting her department’s proposed $1.8 billion budget for 2018-19. Next year’s budget includes $100 million in general funds.
Roth noted that expansion of the Contra Costa Health Plan with more than 200,000 members provides the county financial support, especially when there is financial uncertainty coming out of Washington.
Addressing only the $241,271,160 in general funds proposed for 2018-19, Contra Costa Undersheriff Michael Casten, who filled in for Sheriff David O. Livingston who was out of town, said a $5.6 million vacancy factor makes it “a very difficult for the Office of the Sheriff-Coroner to operate”.
Casten said the funding deficit means for 2018019 the Sheriff-Coroner will not fill 10 deputy sheriff slots worth $2.6 million, three mental health evaluation team deputies openings worth a combined $781,000, 7 patrol deputies worth $1.82 million and six sergeants worth $1.77 million. The Sheriff-Coroner’s request for 15 recruit positions valued at $1.21 million was approved for the upcoming fiscal year.
For Diana Becton, the Interim Contra Costa County District Attorney appointed by the board of supervisors last year who is up for election June 5, budget priorities for 2018-19 include enforcement of Proposition 64 (2016 voter approval for the legalization of the sale of marijuana in California), hiring of additional clerical staff, the implementation of a case management system and pay parity.
For 2018-19, Becton wants to add 14 full-time staff worth $1 million. Those positions include five mainline prosecution assistant district attorneys, five mainline prosecution clerks, two senior inspectors and one forensic accountant.
District attorney Becton wants to also distribute resources for bail reform, the East County Anti-Violence Coalition, the West County Anti-Violence Coalition, the Safe Streets Task Force and anti-truancy initiatives.
Public Defender Robin Lipetzky plans to hire 8 staff members to her department next fiscal year. She plans to hire two attorneys, one investigator, pretrial attorneys, and clerical staff. A new juvenile office in Walnut Creek will open in the next month, she informed supervisors. Last year the public defender handled 501 juvenile cases. Her department last year also handled 3,545 felony cases.
For 2018-19, Contra Costa Public Works will be busy filling 15 positions, Brian Balbas, Public Works Director said. The department will need the additional staff as Balbas needs more staff to oversee a big increase in capital improvement projects, including the construction of a new $110 million county administration building and emergency communication center.
New West County Health Center Expansion Project Approved
On a consent item, supervisors awarded a $12.45 million design-build contract to C. Overaa & Co. for the design and construction of the West County Health Center Expansion Project at 13585 San Pablo Ave., in San Pablo.
When the project is completed, the new two-story, 20,000 square foot building will house the Behavioral Health Department, which will be relocated from a leased building. The new building will qualify for a LEED Silver rating from the Green Building Council.
Other construction firms competing for the design-build contract were Vila Construction and Boldt Co.
College District – Sheriff-Coroner Contract OK’d
Supervisors also approved the $497,250 contract between the Sheriff-Coroner and Contra Costa Community College District to provide educational course construction at the Law Enforcement Training Center at Los Medanos College for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.