City, county near adopting budgets

Budget deliberations will continue Tuesday before the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and Modesto City Council, with both agencies inviting comments from the public.

County supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday morning before deciding whether to approve a $912 million proposed budget.

The county's budget-cutting gives people plenty to talk about, whether it's reduced sheriff's patrols, early release of jail inmates, cuts to the district attorney and public defender offices, reduced library hours or the 10 closure dates for county offices in the fiscal year starting July 1.

Employee furloughs would result in county offices being closed July 2, Sept. 3, Nov. 22-24, Dec. 27-30 and Feb. 14, a staff report says.

The county hearing is slated to start at 9:05 a.m. If needed, supervisors may continue the hearing to 9 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

The Modesto City Council will take comments on the mayor's proposed budget at its 5:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday. No action is scheduled. The council could vote to approve the budget June 22.

The city could eliminate 60 staff positions, with significant hits to the police and fire departments. But much depends on negotiations with labor groups.

The city has vowed to keep 100 police officers on the streets to respond to violent crimes and other priority calls. Response times could be slower for incidents such as burglaries and car thefts.

And Modesto might have fewer firefighters to provide backup coverage during major incidents and training.

Also, the public could see less park maintenance and tree pruning, cuts to recreation and deferred road repairs.