Contra Costa Co. services may face cuts

April 22, 2008 11:53:09 AM PDT
Contra Costa County supervisors are considering deep and some say devastating cuts across county services to close a $52 million budget gap.

Mental health, law enforcement and children's services are all on the chopping block.

There is a tough meeting going on at City Hall, and no one at that meeting is happy about all of this.

County officials and budget officials say that serious cuts are coming to Contra Costa County because of serious revenue problems.

For the first time in 15 years, they say they are facing decrease revenue from federal and state taxes. They are down four percent.

One of the proposed cuts is to adult and children's mental services. That proposal is to cut $3.5 million, and one man said this is simply unacceptable.

"I am shocked because our children's mental care services have been extremely successful in reducing kids in out of home placement in the last two years, and now they are looking into annihilating it," said child and family therapist John Gragnani.

"I don't like to make cuts. The unfortunate reality is that to balance the budget we need to make this level of cuts, and the goal is to try to look for some revenues so that we don't have to permanently cut this types of services," said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

There was a little bit of good news, as the advocates that were there to fight a proposal to cut services to disabled children and they brought a lot of kids to show the supervisors who those would impact.

Those cuts were taken out of the table at the beginning of the meeting and officials say it's because the state changed its mind about funding this program, and that the issue could come up again this fall.

There are several proposals for cuts. One is to cut three mental heath clinics and there's also a proposal to cut beds at homeless shelters.

Tuesday's meeting is a workshop meeting so they can talk this over, and they are going to vote it over in a few weeks on May 6th.


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