By Norberto Santana Jr, Voice of OC | Orange County taxpayers could easily see a tripling of costs for public safety over the next five fiscal years, according to a recent fiscal analysis released this month by the County of Orange.
During a public presentation of the County of Orange Strategic Financial plan earlier this month, documents show supplemental budget requests for public safety are expected to soar from $49 million this year to $130 million by fiscal year 2021-22.
Meanwhile, every other county department is looking at relatively static budgets over the next five years.
County finance staff publicly attributed the expected spending public safety spending spike to “salary and benefits” — aka the impact of a recent salary deal granted to sheriff’s deputies by county supervisors, just a few months in front of the November elections.
The labor deal clearly helped one supervisor, Andrew Do, in his re-election bid – with the deputies union investing in a six-figure, independent spending campaign that was crucial on his behalf in a tight race.
Taxpayers, as I warned in a Sept. 5 column the day before the deal was approved, won’t fare as well.