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Alameda County leaders say state budget cuts will be devastating

Original post made on May 20, 2009

In a strongly-worded message issued by Alameda County officials today, they said the failure of five state budget-related ballot measures in Tuesday's elections "creates a devastating financial situation for local governments across the state."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 3:42 PM

Comments (47)

Posted by Mark
a resident of Del Prado
on May 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Aside from playing on peoples emotions about the old, poor, and disabled are the any thoughts to reducing the union benefits and retirement plans which are bankrupting the state by themselves? How about the $264,000,000 in free school tuition to children of illegal immigrants who should not be here to begin with, how about the 18,000 illegals who have committed crimes who are in our prisons? Any thoughts about sending them to our good friends in mexico to put in their prisons, how about free healthcare to illegals? How about eliminating CALTRANS and putting all construction projects out to competitive bid without regard to them being awarded to union contractors. When they have actually done some real cost cutting which makes sense they can come back to us.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Dublin
on May 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Ever wonder how the city blames the county how the county blames sacramento and how sacramento blames washington?

Posted by Jess Paymore
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

If you'd only hand over a little more money to the politicians all these problems could be resolved! Right. Unfortunately there are plenty of voters out there who are willing to do just that.

Posted by State/County Budget
a resident of San Ramon
on May 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

But yet Scott Haggerty still has $6M to cough up for The Stoneridge Extension.

The County can't be all that broke.

Posted by Pleasanton citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Okay, so at first the threats were that teachers, firefighters, and police would disappear within seconds of voters not voting to pony up more loot, and now that the bluff has been called, it turns out there is actually some other programs that can be cut instead. I guess the politicians actually like having their jobs.

That's not to say some of what they're saying they will cut is not needed or useful, but they appear to be luxuries that we can no longer afford. California has a spending problem, this much is obvious, and something has to give.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Here is a thought I sent along to the Governor (who thanked me for my interest in education)--consolidate to regional or eliminate county offices of education. Department of Redundancy Department.

So many districts are part of Joint Power Authorities or other educational collaborations (PUSD used to process the payroll for several districts rather than run it through the county--not sure if that is still the case) that it is unclear what the county provides. They hold no authority over district superintendents and are mere watchdogs for district budgets, a job that can be done at the state level really. Alameda has a large budget too, $48.7 million for 07-08 in Alameda. Multiple that by some 58 possible offices, even at some average budget number, it will add up.

It certainly seems to be a place to look for cuts that won't hurt the majority of students. This is musing on my part; I don't have all the facts.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Sorry, meant to supply this link to Alameda Web Link

Posted by Get out of the wagon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Here is another thought:

In the area of special ed, a very pricey division of any district, why don't we actually provide services to the special ed population that need it instead of playing dodge ball with the parents...THEN Kent doesn't have to spend hours upon hours in court with the justified claims of frustrated parents and we don't have to pay the attorney's fees for both sides when the district loses. Sometimes doing the right thing is cheaper.

We should also reduce the redundancy of the SELPA. Does Kent get paid for being their director also? Why can't the state just give money to the districts directly???

Posted by Trevor
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm

State/County Budget,

I bet the settlement of those sexual harassment cases involving Haggerty cost us more than 6 million.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Las Positas
on May 20, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Word out of Washington DC this evening and reported in George Will's column is that the Obama administration is going to help out California in terms of federal funding and in return will keep California on a short leash and probable requirements for the funding will be elimination of california's 2/3's requirement for approval of tax increases and budgets and also repealing of proposition 13 in order to raise additional revenue. Settlement will be similar in nature to the kick bankrupcy by Chrysler and the impending like demise of General Motors. If true we will cease to be a state but rather like Puerto Rico and completely controlled by the federal government.

Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Mike may be listening to Rush as well as George Wills. Let's not drag what Obama is trying to do in the big picture into the disaster that we created ourselves here in California. Long before Obama existed California was screwed up.

Prop 13 is not going get overturned by reasons of your claims of something coming out of DC. We still are democracy, and have a say, no? In fact, too much of a direct democracy because the special interests have gamed us into voting for everything under the sun, most of which we did not understand fully, including paying way too much for government services, some of which we don't even need.

Just go with the momentum and let the cuts to government spending happen because there is NO MORE MONEY COMING.

Posted by Irene
a resident of Del Prado
on May 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

So we want the Bay Area Council and group of business leaders funded by special interest business leaders to lead the charge in rewriting our constitution? Sounds like a very bad idea and I am against it.

Posted by Get out of the wagon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm


Is it possible Obama will ask us to vote on whether we want the money and if so to then we have to give up the 2/3rds majority and Prop 13? That's a "vote", no? I think our wonderful People's Republic of California will vote for the money and give up their freedom and liberty. Doesn't the government know best, afterall, according to them?

Anything and everything is on the table for Obama. We're sitting ducks because we're so "progressive" here. Wow am I impressed with this state and its leadership after years of being controlled by the democrats.

At least, for now anyway, the feds can't keep us here. Texas, with ZERO state taxes is looking better and better. I just want Californians to finally get our act together...just like I want the 49ers and Giants to return to the glory of the 1980's. Is that TOO much to ask and hope for???? Sigh...

Posted by Get out of the wagon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I think you wanted to post your comment on the actual constitutional convention thread...

Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown
on May 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm


I just read the same article Mike was referencing and it is in todays Mercury News in the opinion section with no connection to Rush Limbaugh so you need to check your facts before accusing.

Posted by Irene
a resident of Del Prado
on May 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Thanks you are right

Posted by I'd NEVER admit that
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm


You will actually ADMIT that you read the Merky News'Opinion section? Wow. You should run for office. We need that kind of honesty, especially when our elected officials make mistakes.

Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Wow. In 41 minutes after my post, look at the reaction! Great!

Bob, I speculated that you "may" be listening to Rush as well as reading George Wills, and you say you are NOT! Good. Keep it up!

As for Get....'s comments, my advice to you is to not obsfuscate everything disasterous going on in California by trying to tie it to Obama, who it seems you dislike because he does not fit your apparent ideological template. I'm on your side about wasteful spending by government in California, but I don't elevate to a federal cause. I keep the blame here in California.

Posted by Pleasanton resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 12:01 am

I agree with Frank, the Feds might want to give us that Kiss of Death but they can't just make "inconvient" things like Prop 13 just go away. Inconvenient for them, of course. However, I can see the Governator just salivating to get as much loot from the Feds as possible and pass this debacle on to the next guy.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 4:44 am

Local governments should come together and stand up to Sacramento. Why should our local money be sent to those clowns so they can continue their spending as usual?

I like the idea of getting rid of Counties of Education. When you call them for help, they say it is local control: call your school district. I have not seen how counties of education are useful. Alameda, it is time to get rid of the useless alameda county of education.

Address the problem of undocumented people. If you just get rid of services to all illegals (medical, school lunches, etc), you will see the savings at the city, county and state level.

As for illegal immigrants: send them to Obama, he is the one refusing to do something about immigration.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 4:44 am

"As for illegal immigrants: send them to Obama, he is the one refusing to do something about immigration"

meant to say:

As for illegal immigrants who are in jail and must now be released as per the governor: send them to Obama, he is the one refusing to do something about immigration

Posted by Mark
a resident of Del Prado
on May 21, 2009 at 5:53 am

I think that everyone who wants to be informed should listen to Limbaugh and Fox news. Afterall, why would people not want them listened to unless they have something to be fearful of or are being dishonest.

Posted by Yo Ho
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on May 21, 2009 at 8:20 am

Blah, blah, blah. What we need is good old fashion in the street demonstrations, Marches on Washington, Sacramento, Oakland and Pleasanton letting the idiots we elected know we were idiots for electing them and start doing what we tell them to do. The best we have here is what this nation now does best--talk and bitch and look for someone else to do it all. Keep yapping. Do nothing.

Posted by Michele
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 8:31 am

Nice that this thread can be turned into an Obama-bash fest. Just continue to blame him or accuse him of things he has NOT done yet... being he's only been in office since January. I suppose that is typical for some of you though... back on track here.

It was on the news last night that the budget hearings will be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! This is the our opportunity to let those that we elected in our State office hear us. They obviously won't come HERE to listen to us, so we may just need to go to them. I mean really, they love to hide out in Sac because they're "protected" there. Lets, as a community & citizens of this State, show them why we voted against these measures.

Posted by Oscar
a resident of Dublin
on May 21, 2009 at 8:57 am


Aw come on Michele, Obama is a big boy and it comes with the territory and true leaders man up and take responsibility and do not blame others. There is no free ride or grace period when you become the leader as it is all yours on day one unless you want to sherk your responsibility. Followers make excuses and blame others. He can take it I am sure.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 10:08 am


If you really think Obama is listening, think again. I have emailed him, called, mailed him letters. He does not listen, he knows what he wants to do.

As a matter of fact, I received an email from him (well, his campaign on his behalf) asking me to support all the propositions! Why would Obama interfere in California's affairs? He wants what he wants and will do it especially with people like you defending him even when what he has done so far is not good. Tell me one thing Obama has done to help the country. His foreclosure plan only helps a few irresponsible people, and not the majority of homeowners. The money to the banks has not helped, the car industry is still up in the air thanks to the unions, the list goes on. Tell me one single thing Obama has done to help this recession.

And yes, I voted for Obama, but it was mostly because I voted against Palin and all that backward thinking the GOP was pushing.

Posted by Oscar
a resident of Dublin
on May 21, 2009 at 10:17 am

Well he has done some good for the teleprompter industry.

Posted by Michele
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 10:55 am

1. My main point was that some are blaming Obama & the Gov't in Washington for California's problems that have been with us for close to 2 decades. We need to look at who we've elected in California over the past years who've helped put us in the position we're in now. Isn't this what this thread is supposed to be about? Oh, right, it's about blaming Obama for all our problems. Gotcha.

2. Yes, he's a big boy he can take it and has taken it since before he started. Nothing is new there.

3. 'Resident': I also get emails from Obama and NEVER received an email supporting California initiatives. What email updates are you a part of? I'm not going to get into the "What has Obama done for me lately?" discussion. Right now, I'm concerned with the future of the State I live in, and the future of my children's education since that is always the first to get cut.

So again, back onto the issues of our bankrupt State... I for one will try to be a part of going to Sac to sit in on some of these budget hearings. I want to know what the legislature is TRULY trying to take away from us, and I will voice my opinion... I'm tired of this mess of "we're cutting this, we're taking away that" I work just as hard as the next person to support my family day in and day out and I hate to see what the State is doing to all of us. Blame whomever you want, but bottom line is our Senators, Assemblymembers, Governor all need to take responsibility for the mess we're in.

Posted by Only the Lord knows.....
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

The problems started LONG ago, it has been a long, slow, painful bleeding. aauuggghh, they can't afford it, let's save them, aauugghh, they shouldn't have to pay for it, let's save them, auuugghh, the union workers deserve to paid 3/4 pay for the rest of their lives. California has been bleeding for YEARS - slowly trying to save everyone - unfortunately the shovel has come to the end of the pile - there isn't anymore to dole out - we are raking up the remaining bits. Woe is this state - PEOPLE MUST GET Off the couch and back to work. Take back the jobs that weren't good enough for - the landscapers, agricultural, the fast- food (should be the teen jobs) workers, the house cleaners, maintenance workers, street sweepers.
We have allowed the spending to happen - we all voted right? Well, what do we do now ??? The cupboard is bare, the till is tapped, not of drop of swill in the bucket and jobs are dropping faster and faster. Where do we go from here? we need the next PC, or video game, or vehicle, or energy saver - or some new gadget to get the economy stimulated - wanting, deserving again.

Posted by LOL
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 11:03 am

Yeah, another gadget - we need those ideas from silicon valley to start pumping again - wait - we sent them all to india or China - didn't we outsource those jobs too? I think those jobs could flood back home - lots of folks would be happy with call center jobs again. Day shifts, night shifts, bring back the long lost jobs - we need to work!!!

Posted by Greg
a resident of Livermore
on May 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

Folks, those making the Obama comments both positive and negative need to go back and read the first comment that mentions Obama. The point of that was that Obama is offering to give money to the state in return for us changing our laws (Prop 13 & 2/3 revenue vote). Doesn't this seem just a little "seedy?" Kind of like "Chicago Politics" of old?

As I read the entire thread, I do not see anyone blaming Obama for the mess that we have brought on ourselves here in CA. What I do see George Will pointing out is that Obama is, once again, an opportunist that sees that CA is in trouble, and he can use dollars he doesn't have to bring the state under the thumb of the feds.

Ironically, either way, whether through eventual State taxes or Federal Taxes, WE will be the ones footing the bill.

I hope that Schwarzenegger walks away from any offers of money from the feds, but not sure he has the spine to do it.

Posted by Einstein
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

Obama had absolutely nothing to do with the situation in California as when it started he was probably still in school but I will say that the same mentality of tax business and wealthy at the same time created a welfare state of dependance created most if not all of the problems we currently face. Unless you are a politican it is not logical to vilify and case out your revenue source at the same time you add cost. Simple math. Do I think Obama is an opportunist who would like to wrap his hands around California and the potential future illegal voters? Sure I do and this is pure Mayor Daley Chicago politics. Arnie turn down the offer of help and do the right thing? No way and for two reasons. First he has absolutely no idea what he is doing and secondly he is an egomaniac who could not take the outcry of the unions when he tried to do the right thing. "come here said the spider to the fly".

Posted by Lana
a resident of Dublin
on May 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I heard that Behavioral Health Care Services will be adding an additional 66 positions to their department, so they can't be all that broke. Of the positions that they are adding, I heard that most of them are administrative positions. It's going before the Board of Supervisors on June 2. What will Keith Carson have to say then?

Posted by Jason
a resident of Livermore
on May 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm


Behavioral Health Care Services will more than likely request to add 66 positions, however the funding for the additional positions will come directly from Prop 63 funds and has no impact on net County cost. As you probably know, Prop 63 funds can't be used to supplant existing County Behavioral Health Services.

Posted by Pleasanton resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Good point about all these propostions that are at odds with each other. Seems the voters will approve any and all new spending until the bill comes due in the form of massive budget deficits. Something to think about next time these things come on the ballot, and they're usually for something we really do need like roads, new utilities and school upgrades. Yet, somehow they can't be funded through normal means and have to be funded by more bonds while we somehow have 6 billion for stem cell research...

Posted by It's not over
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on May 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Great; Arnold heads to Washington with hat in hand. "more Mr. President, please give me more." The state deserves what it gets; by handing over our soverenty to the Federal government we are one step closer to our doom. We have recovered from bad economies before; sometimes leading the way. But the insane intoxication for spending on more governement and government programs during boom times has come home to roost this time. Our great state has dug itself a hole there is no digging out of.

Posted by Get a life
a resident of Downtown
on May 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Yeah it is all the unions fault. Of course. Why didn't I think of that!!!

Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm

The problem is not that the politicians are not doing what we elected them to do. They are doing what the special interests that bought their seat paid them to do. We will not have good Government until we, the voters, pass campaign finance reform.

Everytime they pass campaign finance reform, it means they can have more money and less accountability. I propose that we have an eight year term of office, no second term. You cannot raise one dime for your election. The TV and radio stations will have to provide free debate time for the candidates prior to the election. There will be no money spent on ads. Face to face debate only. Stager the terms so that every 2 years we replace 25% to the legislature. That way, you always have experienced people teaching the less experienced.

With no money going to the politicians, we will only get laws we actually need, not costly and useless paybacks. We will probably get a better class of politician who is actually trying to help rather than weild power and money.

There is talk of a Constitutional convention, how about we introduce this into the picture.

Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 10:37 pm

What is the plan when the Pleasanton parcel tax fails? Haven't heard anything about that.

Also, at the national level the lobbying stranglehold on government with the political in-breeding prevents change at that level.

Bottom line is an unemployed population cannot maintain nor support a government or educational system as if nothing has changed.

Posted by Tennesse Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 22, 2009 at 5:39 am

I'm with Bruce! Great idea...I would only add that the government should only meet for 6months/year. End junkits and travel outside the state, and cut salaries 50%. Yeah, right!

Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown
on May 22, 2009 at 6:43 am

California might be the only state or maybe one of the few which has a full time legislature. I was back east and they were saying they needed convene their legislature and were laughing that things run better when they were not there. Why do we need a full time legislature

Posted by Chris
a resident of Stoneridge
on May 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm

It is time for the public sector to cuts costs similar to what the private sector has done over the last year. Teachers, firefighers, police, and other govt employees should prepare for the same wage reductions / layoff that we've been suffering under in the private sector.

Politician's request to shake us down for more money has fallen on deaf ears...can't get blood from a much more do you think we can afford to pay in taxes with our dwindling salaries?!?!?

Posted by Jeffrey
a resident of Val Vista
on May 23, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I thought that free trade was going to make us all richer? I've watched the manufacturing jobs leave to countries with few worker rights, environmental safegurads...and now IT, banking, and other service industry jobs are following suit. For those jobs (scraps) that remain, we have to fight with illegal and legal (h1B) immigrants. And politicians have the audacity to raise our taxes further?

Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Well it cold be a free market but we are down a bit and Obama is doing everything he can to finish us off. We have elected a marxist and deserve what we get. Hopefully if we can recover from this crummy leadership we will never let it happen again. We are seeing the distruction of our country.

Posted by Right Wing Extremist
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I am enjoying the ideas flowing in this thread from my neighbors. Great job!

Can we also discuss why the doubling of our state's population in the last 30 years has/has not helped us?

My spouse works in Silicon Valley and is one of maybe a handful of citizens born in the US at thier company. The company of over 500 people are mostly from India and China and these are really good people, great coworkers in fact, but they are not citizens and are not planning to stay here (they are only interested in dual citizenship so they can eventually retire back "home", they tell us).

We have so many family friends and neighbors that are in the same field as these guest workers and have been layed off from other companies.

In this economy, is it ever "legal" to ask guest workers to leave for American citizens that are out of work?

I DO not want replies to bash those productive contributors from other countries...since we all were at one point (or our family was). I just want Americans to get back to work since they have made the choice, native or not, that this is thier home country.

Posted by Interesting...
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm


Interesting. At first, I read your post and thought maybe we'd lose the tax base - but not if someone isn't employed.

I think it is reasonable to assert that Americans spend all of their earnings in the US. A "guest worker", as you label them, would most likely send a good percentage of thier salary back "home" to benefit that economy.

I think it makes sense that we should keep US jobs for US citizens first and then keep all of the revenue in our country.

Posted by John
a resident of Castlewood
on May 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Well we do lost tax base as many of the illegals do not pay any tax at all and even worse than is the fact that many send their money back to mexico and the money is spent there. RWE has some very valid points and it would be interesting to see the average salaries of people moving out of the state versus people moving in the state. I bet it is a huge disparity but then again only a bet. I do not that many of the nurses employed in California are residents from other states who come here to make a big wage and then return to their states or provinces. My mother was ill and in CCU in Fremont for 8 months and she had 4 nurses who I got to know and only one lived in California. 2 were from Texas and the other one was from British Columbia. Great nurses and great care but it is lost opportunity for taxes in California.

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