Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Yolo court officials outline budget woes

By
From page A1 | August 18, 2011 |

WOODLAND — One of the perks of serving as a Yolo County juror is the endless supply of free coffee. Come next year, that may be a thing of the past.

Even seemingly minor expenses such as ground coffee face the chopping block as Yolo Superior Court officials look to offset hundreds of thousands of dollars in budget cuts.

“The cuts were so dramatic this year,” Court Executive Officer Jim Perry said in a recent interview. “They’re ongoing, they’re cumulative, and they’re permanent, and that permanency is what makes it even more difficult to deal with.”

California’s judicial branch has experienced a 30-percent budget reduction over the past three years, Perry said. In July, the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown slashed it by an additional $350 million.

The cuts affect all of California’s 58 trial courts, each of which is independently managed.

“You’re going to see 58 different reactions and responses statewide,” Presiding Judge David Rosenberg said. “The good news for Yolo is we really have been conservative and prudent in management for the past several years in anticipation of the rainy day.

“Now, it’s raining.”

The budget cuts, along with the scheduled sunset of several fee and fine revenue streams, will reduce Yolo’s court budget from the current $8.25 million to $6.56 million in 2013-14.

For Yolo, that means the courts must absorb a 6.8 percent budget reduction for fiscal year 2011-12, a 15.2 percent reduction for 2012-13, and more than 20 percent in cuts the following two years.

As the court aligns its expenditures to match its revenues, the public will feel the impact in the form of shorter public window hours, longer lines and other delays.

“It will be harder to get access to the court,” said Shawn Landry, the court’s assistant executive officer. “The public’s going to be hurt.”

Earlier this month, the court announced a 60- to 90-minute reduction in operating hours in the civil, criminal and traffic divisions, as well as at the court collections/payment center, effective Oct. 3. The new hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The court’s family law facilitator clinic in West Sacramento, which provides assistance in family-law matters to those without an attorney, has closed its doors for good.

Already understaffed, the court expects its 9-percent employee vacancy rate to nearly triple over the next few years through attrition, Perry said. Retiring workers will take with them dozens of years of experience.

“But our workload doesn’t go away,” Rosenberg noted. “We have a workload that, at best, stays steady but likely increases.”

Rosenberg said the situation does not impact plans to build a new courthouse on the east end of downtown Woodland, a $173 million project slated for completion in 2015. It and other court projects in California are being paid for with a state courthouse construction account funded by a statewide increase in court fines and fees.

Although the Legislature recently diverted millions from that state fund to balance other budget shortfalls, “we continue to remain at the top of the list for new courthouse construction,” Rosenberg said.

Meanwhile, court officials are enlisting employees to help identify potential budget reductions.

A committee of eight court workers, overseen by the court’s chief financial officer, will be reviewing budget line items on an ongoing basis, developing a “tool box” of potential cost-saving measures.

Perry said the court also will consider solutions such as a restructuring of operations and staffing, rolling furloughs and reductions in perimeter security to balance its budget.

“As we go through the years, we’ll start pulling things out of the tool box and implementing them,” he said.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

     
    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8