Kanalakis Told to Wait
Supes can’t find money for sheriff—yet.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Per usual, Sheriff Mike Kanalakis wants more money to put deputies on the streets and in the jail. He has asked the County Supervisors to tack on an extra $3.8 million to the $69 million proposed for his department. Among other things, this money would be used to hire 27 deputies, purchase eight new patrol cars, and fund the gang task force (if the federal government doesn’t give the county more money for it).
But on June 12, as County Supervisors zipped through a spending plan for 2006-07, the answer was: not yet.
On Monday, the supervisors held a daylong hearing on the proposed $879.8 million budget. County officials expect revenues to increase in fiscal 2006-07—by about $24.3 million over the current fiscal year. And for the most part, the plan maintains county-provided services and even increases the number of funded positions.
The big exception is Natividad Medical Center. The County wants Natividad to cut $7 million from its salaries and benefits by eliminating vacant positions and renegotiating labor contracts. Supervisors on Monday told Natividad Chief Executive Officer Chad Chadwick that the County can’t maintain its current level of financial support to Natividad, and is hopeful that Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital will produce a plan to take over its management.
Meanwhile, supervisors agreed they would like to see more deputies on patrol.
“We understand how important it is,” said Supervisor Lou Calcagno, “but we need to wait until we understand the Natividad Medical Center situation.”
Supervisors are slated to approve the spending plan at the June 27 meeting. And if they don’t give the sheriff more money then, they might be able to in the future, said Supervisor Dave Potter.
“The state budget certainly indicated the economy’s turning in the right direction,” he said. “It’s always possible to come back mid-season, and look at augmentation.”