Unincorporated area between the two cities south and west of the 680-24 interchange
It might violate Proposition 19 and the property inheritance rights of children of current property owners – County Assessor Gus Kramer
County receives $7.4 million more in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds
By Daniel Borsuk
Over the objections of Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the situs address change from Walnut Creek to Lafayette of 465 properties in the upscale Saranap area for purposes of the upcoming 2022 delivery of the secured property tax roll to the Auditor. Those properties are located within the Lafayette School District.
At the request of Area 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville, supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the unusual request that will very likely boost property values of the 465 properties tagged in the situs address change from Walnut Creek to Lafayette. Andersen told supervisors she had been approached by property owners in the Saranap area since 2019 to make the change because the properties are located within the boundaries of the Lafayette School District and are in the sphere of influence of the City of Lafayette.
But Kramer opposed the situs change contending it might violate Proposition 19 and the property inheritance rights of children of current property owners.
“I am concerned about the legal issues,” said the county assessor. “I suggest that you put this off a bit. It is a bit premature.”
Thirty-year Saranap homeowner Joyce Coleman told supervisors she supports the situs change because it will help future residents know what schools their children will attend.
“There’s always been confusion over whether children will attend Walnut Creek or Lafayette schools. This will help solve that problem,” she said.
Prior to the vote, Area 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who has announced she will not seek re-election in 2022, commented “It’s just beyond me. You’re already in the Lafayette school district. I am doing this only out of respect for Supervisor Andersen.”
Supervisor Andersen noted that after petitioning the United States Postal Service, the USPS approved the request to add Lafayette to its mailing routing system as a recognized city mailing address for the 465 properties. The postal service now recognizes both Lafayette and Walnut Creek as city addresses for the area, The Zip Code remains unchanged at 94595.
County Receives $7.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds
Supervisors learned additional federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will be heading to county coffers in ensuing months after $7.4 million have been spent during the first quarter of 2021.
The county Employment and Human Services Department has received $4,694,377, the county Health Services Department has received $2,604,182 and the Department of Conservation and Development has received $90,215, said assistant County Administrative Officer Tim Elway.
Through Sept. 30, county departments spent $71.6 million ARPA funds for rental assistance services. The Health Services Department submitted an expenditure of $20.9 million for pandemic responses.
Last August, the County Administrator’s Office had identified $317,327.304 in ARPA funds allocated to the county. Of that amount, $127,606.231 had been received by the county and represents two of the largest funding sources for the county – $112,029,451 for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund and $15,576,780 for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Hire New Director of Child Support Services from San Joaquin County
Supervisors voted 5-0 to hire San Joaquin County Director of Child Support Services Lori Cruz as the new Contra Costa County Director of Child Support Services at an annual salary of $345,796 of which $56,489 are pension costs.
Cruz, a California licensed attorney, who holds a Juris Doctor from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts Political Science and Print Journalism from the University of Southern California, has served as the Director of Child Support Services in San Joaquin County, the same county where Contra Costa County Administrator Monica Nina was county administrator until her appointment late last year.
Cruz replaces the current director of child support services Melinda Self, who is retiring on Dec. 31, 2021.
Upon accepting the supervisors’ hiring, Ms. Cruz said, “I can bring my 31 years of child support experience to Contra Costa County and bring positive outcomes to your constituents.”
Cruz, who has been a member of the California State Bar since 1989, has served as director of San Joaquin County Child Support Services from April 2014 to present date. From June 2002 to April 2014, she was employed as the Deputy Director of Operations of the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department. During her career she developed programs to analyze departmental data to measure performance and effectiveness of services, leading a statewide effort to obtain significant data to measure performance and effectiveness of services, and leading a statewide effort to obtain a new funding model for local child support agencies.