STOCKTON — The bulk of San Joaquin County’s proposed budget for 2018-19 has not yet been released, but County Administrator Monica Nino did share an interesting nugget Monday afternoon.
Nino said the new budget will include $2 million toward the establishment of the new county Medical Examiner’s Office that was voted into existence by supervisors last month.
The transition from the current Sheriff-Coroner structure to the Medical Examiner format is to be completed by June 30, 2020, if not sooner. The change is intended to provide the county’s forensic pathologists with independence from the Sheriff’s Office when they are conducting death investigations.
All told, the county’s proposed 2018-19 budget is about $1.75 billion, an increase of $112.7 million, according to Nino. The increased budget, Nino said, essentially is an adjustment to account for inflation from a year ago.
“Primarily our budget is status quo,” Nino said. “We don’t have the capacity in our structurally balanced budget to add any new program grants without reducing others.”
Still, Nino said, efforts are ongoing to find ways to spend county dollars more efficiently and effectively than in the past.
“We have a number of departments that are trying to deliver services differently so we can serve more with the existing resources,” Nino said.
She also said the proposed 2018-19 budget will adhere to a list of the supervisors’ strategic priorities that covers the fiscal years from 2016-17 to 2018-19.
The priorities are to ensure fiscal responsibility, to promote good governance and increase organizational capabilities, to improve public safety and enhance the criminal justice system, to promote economic development and to be proactive in dealing with water issues.
Contact reporter Roger Phillips at (209) 546-8299 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rphillipsblog.