Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Watch

By unanimous vote, Stanislaus County supervisors Tuesday:

Agreed to lay off 16 Community Services Agency workers, all of whom would be offered jobs when 27 positions are created in a different division, probably in a couple of weeks. To save money, the county is cutting services for children and seniors at risk of abuse or neglect. Welfare payouts and payments to in-home care providers and foster parents, which are protected by law, would not be affected, but some programs that reduce demand for foster care and nursing homes will be eliminated. Victoria McDonald said she's been sober for seven years and praised the agency for helping her stay with her children. "There are people out there who do succeed," she said. The agency's cost-cutting strategy includes giving up $12.5 million in state and federal social services money because the county can't afford to put up $3.4 million as its share to secure that funding. "Look at how screwy government funding is," Supervisor Bill O'Brien said, noting the double whammy to needy people. The social workers would be laid off in August but are expected to transfer to positions in job development with salaries entirely paid by state and federal money.

Hired Cunningham & Sons of Oakdale to make earthquake-proof a bridge on Grayson Road at Laird Slough, east of Grayson. State transportation leaders have wanted to do the seismic retrofit since 2003. Federal bridge replacement money will cover $107,000 of the expected $190,000 cost.

Used eminent domain to seize another parcel needed to widen Kiernan Avenue north of Modesto. Property controlled by Union Pacific Railroad became the 31st parcel in recent months taken by the county over owners' objections.

Agreed to require that the owner of a mobile home on Wilkins Avenue in Oakdale remove it or renew its permit

— By Garth Stapley