Last night, PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer featured Contra Costa County and the many challenges it, like all our counties, face due to declining revenue, cuts to services and staff, and the consequences of the state budget.

If you have not seen the segment, I encourage you to do so by clicking here. There you will find the transcript of the report as well as the video.

Reporter Spencer Michels spent time in Contra Costa County, speaking with Supervisor John Gioia, County Health Director Dr. William Walker, County Redevelopment Director Jim Kennedy and a handful of social service clients.

Michels did a thorough job of explaining that severe state budget cuts came at a time when the county was already dealing with declining sales and property tax revenue.

He also showed the growing lines at social service offices that have fewer employees to serve clients. And he hit on the loss of redevelopment funds and that affect on the county’s plans. Supervisor Gioia, Dr. Walker and Kennedy, along with the social service clients, all did a very nice job of explaining their concerns and the reality of what decisions at the Capitol mean in our local communities.

I know many of the media outlets in your communities have taken time to bring attention to the budget challenges you face. I encourage you to continue sharing your story with the public and media. We do not want those outside of local government to slip into the false sense that the state budget is fixed or provided real solutions.

Rather, we need to keep hammering that counties are dealing with the consequences of the state budget, and likely will continue to do so for some time to come.

Paul McIntosh
Executive Director
California State Association of Counties