Archive for the ‘Supervisors’ Category

Connelly leads big for Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder, Carlson ahead of Allen in Supervisor race

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

(L-R, T-B) Kristin Connelly leads Vicki Gordon for County Clerk and Ken Carlson is ahead of Debora Allen for District 4 County Supervisor. Sources: Official campaign photos.

Butler, Maxwell win, Lewis leading in county school board races

170,000 ballots to be counted as of Wed., more ballots arriving through Tues., Nov. 15 could affect results

By Allen D. Payton

As of the latest update on the Contra Costa County Elections Division website on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 12:03 a.m., with all precincts reporting, Acalanes School Board Trustee Kristin Connelly appears to be winning the race for County Clerk-Recorder and Pleasant Hill City Councilman Ken Carlson is ahead in the race for District 4 County Supervisor. The district includes Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill and portions of Walnut Creek.

County Clerk-Recorder

With 100,938 votes or 53.55% of the vote Connelly has a commanding lead over former Contra Costa College Board Trustee Vicki Gordon who had 87,567 votes or 46.45% of the vote. Carlson is leading BART Board Member Debora Allen by 4,122 votes. He had 26,110 votes or 54.17% to her 22,088 votes or 42.83% of the vote.

According to county elections personnel, after receiving Wednesday’s mail there were an estimated 170,000 unprocessed ballots. The latest figures on the website don’t include all the vote-by-mail ballots submitted on Election Day including at the polls.

As a result, Connelly is not declaring victory, just yet. When reached for comment Thursday afternoon she responded, “I am very excited about how the results are shaping up in my race and look forward to the timely count continuing.”

Carlson Declares Victory in District 4 Supervisor’s Race

In a post on his campaign Facebook page on Wednesday Carlson was more confident in the results declaring victory. He wrote, “It has been a long, hard fought campaign, but WE GOT IT DONE, and I am proud to claim #VICTORY! I am humbled to have had your support, and I am grateful to now have the opportunity to serve all of District 4 as your next Supervisor! Countless groups and individuals made this win possible. I share the credit for this victory with a great many folks in our community. I want to say thank you to my opponent, Debora Allen for helping keep this campaign about the issues that matter to each and every one of us. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. THANK YOU.”

On Wednesday, Allen conceded on her campaign Facebook page writing, “The results are in, and it is clear I fell short of the votes needed by 4100, to win the District 4 seat on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. We came close, but as my dad used to say, close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and ballroom dancing.

To my family, friends, supporters, donors, and colleagues, I extend a big THANK YOU for your support, contributions, love and encouragement. I am forever grateful for your faith in me.

To the voters of Contra Costa, thank you for the 22K votes of support and the great conversations at your doors, in your businesses, and at public events over the last year. I learned a lot about the people of our county.

To the public employees’ and construction labor unions who provided $300K of funding to oppose me and support Carlson in this general election, congratulations, you won! You just bought yourselves a supervisor. Your nasty disinformation tactics are what continue to win elections for unions and keep you in control of our government.

To Contra Costa Supervisor-elect Ken Carlson for County Supervisor 2022, I wish you all the best as the next Contra Costa Supervisor in District 4. I hope you will find the courage to stand up to all that union money that elected you, especially when voting on their labor contracts, or on construction project labor agreements to shut out all local non-union construction businesses from the work in this county.

Until we run again!”

However, on Thursday Allen posted, “UPDATE 11/10/22: We should have better tallies of votes by 5pm today. Will update then.”

Assuming a fifth of the remaining 170,000 unprocessed ballots are for the District 4 race, Allen would need 62% of them or 21,123 votes of the estimated 34,000 ballots that were remaining to be counted in order to eke out a win.

County Board of Education

In the races for county Board of Education, incumbents Sarah Butler in Area 2 and Mike Maxwell in Area 4 have defeated their challengers by wide margins, and Annette Lewis in Area 5 is leading her closest challenger, Justin Brown by 2,556 votes or by 7.35% a margin that could prove insurmountable.

Butler had 24,621 votes or 50.69% of the vote defeating Lisa Disbrow with 13,450 votes or 27.69%, and Rupy Krishnan with 10,501 or 21.62% of the vote.

The race for Area 4 was closer as Maxwell had 19,127 votes or 43.44% of the vote defeating challengers Cheri Calgano with 13,672 votes or 31.05%, and Anaité Letona with 11,229 votes or 25.5% of the vote.

Finally, in the Area 5 race, Lewis had 15,250 votes or 45.83% to Brown’s 12,694 votes or 36.48% followed by challenger Derek Carson II with 6,582 votes or 19.69% of the vote.

Thursday afternoon Lewis shared, “Waiting to see what tonight’s numbers will show. This morning’s returns by district show roughly 22,000 more ballots turned in my area.”

Next Update Thursday Afternoon

The next update for results in all elections in the county is expected later today, Thursday, Nov. 10 before 5:00 p.m.

Please check this website later for that update.

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Contra Costa voters re-elect Sheriff Livingston, DA Becton, Assessor Kramer

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Results for the Contra Costa DA and Sheriff’s races as of early Wednesday, June 8, 2022, showing Becton and Livingston winning. Source: CoCoVote.us

One billionaire Soros-backed progressive DA wins, two other progressive DA’s lose in the state Tuesday night; in County Clerk’s race it’s Connelly vs. Gordon; Pleasant Hill Councilman Carlson, BART Director Allen leading in 4th Supe District race; only 18% turnout; ballots mailed by election day can still be received until next Tuesday

Sheriff Livingston checks the voting results at the DSA Election Night Watch Party Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

By Allen D. Payton

Following an election season filled with attacks, accusations and over $1 million spent in the Contra Costa District Attorney’s race, the incumbents, Sheriff David Livingston and DA Diana Becton, along with County Assessor Gus Kramer were each re-elected by wide margins, Tuesday night. They were the only countywide incumbents facing challengers, this year in an election that only saw a 17.95% voter turnout, so far. Incumbent county Treasurer-Tax Collector Russell Watts, Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell and County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey were re-elected without facing opposition.

In the only other contested countywide race, for County Clerk-Recorder, Kristin Connelly will face former Community College Board Trustee Vicki Gordon in a November run-off. In the races for county supervisor, District 1 incumbent, John Gioia was re-elected easily beating his opponent, Hulan Barnett, Jr. 15,018 votes to 2,800, and in District 4, Pleasant Hill Councilman Ken Carlson who and BART Board Director Debora Allen are leading. Allen was trailing Concord Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer by 211 votes until late in the evening, when she pulled into second place by 389 votes. Carlson is leading Allen by 569 votes. The top two candidates will face off in the November run-off.

Sheriff Livingston and Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox with former Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini and another supporter at the DSA Election Night Watch Party, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

When reached for comment Allen said, “I’m not declaring victory at this point because there are still ballots to count.”

In the biggest battle in the county, Becton was re-elected to her second, full, four-year term beating Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox, a 37-year prosecutor, by 56% to 44% with 63,147 votes against 49,599 for Knox. Becton was the beneficiary of $1 million spent by an independent expenditure committee campaign supporting her and opposing Knox, with the majority of funds contributed by out-of-state billionaire George Soros. (See related articles here and here)

The same night a Soros-backed, progressive district attorney was re-elected in Contra Costa, another progressive D.A. in San Francisco, Chesa Boudin was recalled by voters in that city and county who had enough with his policies. Becton and Boudin have been part of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, along with L.A. County D.A. George Gascon who is also facing a possible recall, and San Joaquin County D.A. Tori Verber Salazar, who was losing for re-election according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters website as of Wednesday.

In the other hard fought countywide race, Livingston was re-elected to his fourth term as sheriff beating Richmond Police Officer Ben Therriault by an even wider margin, 61.2% to 38.8% with 67,906 votes to 43,125 for the challenger.

Attempts to reach Livingston and Becton for comment about their victories were unsuccessful prior to publication time.

County Assessor Kramer eased to another victory for his eighth term, beating his only opponent Floy Andrews by 57.6% to 42.4% with 63,164 votes to 46,456 for the challenger.

When reached for comment Kramer said, “I am on bended knee thanking the voters for seeing through the garbage in the East Bay Times, having faith in me and re-electing me for another four years. The citizens have spoken, the people for whom I serve. This is not a victory for me but for the property owners in the county.”

Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer celebrates his re-election with supporters at the DSA Election Night Watch Party, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

Livingston, Knox and Kramer attended the Election Night Watch Party at the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association Hall in Martinez, waiting for the updates and speaking with their supporters.

In the Clerk-Recorder’s race, Connelly is in first place with 34,049 votes, Gordon is in second with 24,152 votes and is ahead of Pinole Councilman Devin Murphy by 3,781 votes.

Asked for a comment on the election results Gordon said, “The first thing I want to say is to thank all my supporters, people who donated and walked. I want to thank everyone for their support, it was grassroots effort. My husband and family were also amazing.”

“I am honored to move on to November,” she added.

The countywide Measure G which continues the $2 per car fee to pay for picking up abandoned vehicles and required a two-thirds vote is passing with 68.7% of the vote, with 79,126 in favor to 35,978 opposed.

The only other measure on the ballot was in Martinez. Measure F, also requiring a two-thirds vote to pass, is barely failing with 65.9%. If passed, the measure would add a $79 annual parcel tax for the next 30 years to preserve open space and a ridgeline, allowing the City of Martinez to purchase the 297-acre Alhambra Highlands.

The Contra Costa Elections Division can still receive ballots that were mailed by Tuesday for up to seven days after the election, according to executive secretary, Melissa Hickok, who said she read it straight from the Secretary of State’s website. They have up to 28 days to certify the election.

This year, voters who went to the polls didn’t put their own ballots into the counting machines, as has been done in the past.

“Contra Costa County has returned to a central count, instead of having hundreds of counters at all the polling places, we bring all the ballots back and run them through the high-speed scanners at the Elections Office,” Hickok explained.

That resulted in updates of the results on election night to take longer than in the past.

The next update is expected this Friday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m. For more information visit CoCoVote.us.

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Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan, Supervisor Burgis introduce bill targeting illegal dumping

Thursday, February 17th, 2022

Supervisor Diane Burgis stand in front of a truck with nine yards of garbage illegally dumped on roads in the county during press conference in Antioch on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. Photo by Allen D. Payton

AB 2374 increases fines, adds teeth to state law on illegal dumping 

At a press conference today, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Antioch, Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (AD16-D-Orinda), District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, the bill’s sponsor, and local county leaders announced the introduction of AB 2374. Entitled “Crimes against public health and safety: illegal dumping”, the bill was introduced in response to the rampant illegal dumping plaguing communities across California.

“The illegal dumping of trash, furniture, mattresses, appliances, and toxic materials is out of control in both our rural and urban areas – it isn’t just unsightly, it is putting the health of our communities and environment at risk,” said Bauer-Kahan. “Every Californian deserves the right to live in clean, garbage-free neighborhoods.”

“We started this out when we were trying to figure out how to handle it. That’s when we learned of the multiple agencies each responding,” said Burgis. “We formed a Think Tank of agencies in the county, plus East Bay Regional Park and our garbage haulers. And it’s expensive.”

“What people were doing was instead of taking it to the landfill or transfer station, they were just dumping it on the side of the road,” she stated. Pointing to the truck filled with items picked up along East County roads that was at the press conference Burgis said, “That’s nine yards, but they usually pick up 15 yards of large and small items in East County, each week.”

This bill builds upon previous legislative efforts of Bauer-Kahan and Contra Costa and Alameda Counties in 2019. These efforts provided funding to the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa to establish a pilot program for additional enforcement of illegal dumping laws in both counties. This program has been successful, but more tools in the arsenal to fight illegal dumping are necessary. Policies like increased enforcement, street lighting, and cameras throughout the East Bay region have also helped, however, California still lacks sufficient penalties to deter people from this harmful behavior.

AB 2374 raises fines on illegal dumping of commercial quantities up to $5,000 upon first conviction, up to $10,000 on a second conviction, and up to $20,000 on third or subsequent conviction. Additionally, this bill will give judges discretion to require the convicted to pay for the removal of their illegal dumping, suspend the business license of any individual convicted of dumping waste connected to their business, and allow for that person’s name and name of the business to be publicly displayed as convicted of illegal dumping.

“We want everyone to be doing the right thing, but there’s a limit to what we can do to educate and incentivize good behavior,” said Burgis. “It’s important for the public to understand that dumping has an impact on the quality of our drinking water, and that it disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. I applaud Bauer-Kahan for her efforts to empower us with the tools we need at the local level to start getting greater control of this problem.”

Contra Costa County District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who also serves on the County’s Illegal Dumping Ad Hoc Committee, added, “Residents deserve beautiful land and clean neighborhoods to live and work in. We want to be sure that everyone, including commercial businesses, hear loud and clear that they cannot illegally dump in our community without hefty fines, hence the need for this legislation.”

“Illegal dumping is a plague on our entire state – impacting our most urban, suburban, and rural communities. In a pilot project in my Supervisorial District alone we’ve removed nearly 1,200 tons of trash from our streets. This legislation provides needed enforcement authority to combat illegal dumping and blight in our neighborhoods, while alleviating the unfair burden of clean up from residents and local businesses,” said Alameda County Supervisor and Board Vice President Nate Miley.

“By upping the fines and providing tools for the courts to publicly hold violators accountable for committing these acts, we disincentivize actors and create public knowledge on who not to work with,” Bauer-Kahan added. “I want to thank Contra Costa County for bringing this bill idea to my attention and look forward to getting it implemented statewide.”

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Candidate filing period for June 7 Primary Election begins Monday

Saturday, February 12th, 2022

For county DA, sheriff, supervisor, Superior Court judges and other offices, U.S. Senate, Congress, governor and other statewide offices, and State Assembly

By Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach/Engagement Specialist, Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department

On Monday, February 14, the June 7, 2022, Candidate Filing Period will begin, and nomination papers will be available for candidates running for Statewide Constitutional offices, County offices, Superior Court judges, United States Senator, United States Representative in Congress and Member of the State Assembly. The nomination period runs through 5:00 pm Friday, March 11, 2022.  A list of offices currently up for election can be found here: https://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/22Jun07_PositionsUpForElection-1.pdf

Papers for offices that are up for election will be available at the Contra Costa Elections Office, 555 Escobar Street, Martinez.

For further information on the primary election and key dates, visit www.cocovote.us.

With COVID-19 still in play, the Contra Costa Elections Division is asking interested candidates to schedule an appointment through email at candidate.services@vote.cccounty.us or by calling 925-335-7800. Walk-ins are accepted, but subject to the availability of staff. Appointments are available on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Filing documents and information will be provided to interested constituents at their appointment. The process takes 20 minutes.

All visitors will be asked to check-in at the Elections lobby and will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.

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Contra Costa Supervisors appoint new county health officer

Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

Dr. Ori Tzvieli during a Jan. 22, 2021 online press conference. Source: Screenshot of CCHealth Services YouTube video

Farnitano retiring next month; Tzvieli will also hold title and role of county’s Director of Public Health

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors today appointed Dr. Ori Tzvieli as the county’s new Health Officer.

Dr. Tzvieli has helped to lead the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years as a deputy health officer.

He fills a vacancy left by Dr. Chris Farnitano, who has stepped down from the role in preparation for retirement after more than 30 years caring for Contra Costa County residents.

“Dr. Farnitano will be missed. We are glad Dr. Tzvieli is ready to step into a role that is so crucial for the health and safety of our county residents during the pandemic,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Mitchoff. “Over the past two years, both of them have contributed to one of the finest local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in California.”

Each county in California appoints a health officer who has broad authority under state Health & Safety Code and are responsible for protecting the health of residents within their jurisdictions.

“Dr. Tzvieli has helped to lead our county’s emergency response since the beginning. We are fortunate to have someone with his experience and community knowledge ready to step up,” Contra Costa Health Director Anna Roth said. “I am very confident that he will help to continue our strong efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County.”

Dr. Tzvieli joined Contra Costa Health (CCH) as a family medicine resident at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) in 2000, launching a career in the county’s healthcare delivery system that has led to several leadership roles, including Medical Staff President, Ambulatory Care Medical Director, Public Health Medical Director and now Director of Public Health, serving under Director Roth.

During his time with CCH, Dr. Tzvieli has championed collaborative efforts to address opioid addiction and cared for some of the county’s most vulnerable residents as medical director of the Health Care for the Homeless program.

Dr. Farnitano will formally retire in March after a celebrated career at CCH. He became Contra Costa County Health Officer in July 2018, after previously serving as Ambulatory Care Medical Director at CCRMC and Family Medicine Department Chair, among other roles.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Contra Costa Supervisors to act on affordable housing, election campaign funding ordinances Tuesday

Monday, January 31st, 2022

Will celebrate Inaugural Asian and Pacific Islander Lunar New Year, honor City of Antioch’s Sesquicentennial

By Daniel Borsuk

An ordinance concerning Contra Costa County’s affordable housing status and other proposed ordinances designed to boost election campaign funding for Supervisors and Non-supervisor candidates along with an Inaugural celebration recognizing the Asian and Pacific Islander New Year will be some of the Agenda Items the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will either take action on or pay tribute to at a meeting on Tuesday, February 1.

The Supervisors will meet remotely, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Proceedings will be televised on Comcast Cable twenty-seven, ATT/U-Verse Channel 99 and WAVE Channel 32 and can be seen live online at www.contracosta.ca.gov.

Public Hearing on Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

Supervisors will hold a hearing to determine if the county’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is “Consistent with the State’s definition of low-income household and qualifying income units and exempt community care facilities from the County’s Affordable Housing Requirements,” according to the report from the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development.

In effect since 2006, the proposed ordinance would align the County’s Ordinance with changes in the state’s definition of extended low, very low-, low- and moderate-income households and their respective qualifying income limits.

The proposed ordinance would exempt Community Care Facilities from the County’s Affordable Housing Requirements.

Election Campaign Ordinance

Supervisors will consider an Election Campaign Ordinance for Supervisorial and Non-supervisoral candidates increasing individual donations from $1,675 to $2,500.  The County’s Election Campaign Ordinance was first adopted in 1984 and was last revised in 2005.

The Election Campaign Ordinance also applies to other County Elected Positions such as Recorder-elections, Treasurer, Assessor, District Attorney, and Sheriff-Coroner.

A few weeks ago, when Supervisors first reviewed this ordinance, they had briefly studied the idea of raising donations to $5,000, the state limit, but decided to not go that route.

Inaugural Asian and Pacific Islander New Year Celebration

The Board of Supervisors will conduct their inaugural Asian and Pacific Islander New Year Celebration with Susan Kim, executive director of the Contra Costa Family Justice Center, and Professor Kent Wong, Director of the University of California Los Angeles Labor Center, as speakers.   The multi-cultural ceremony will feature dance, music, food, and unique customs of many of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities represented in Contra Costa County including Nepalese, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Tai, and Indian communities.

“We want to recognize one of the most important celebrations for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities and dismiss monolithic stereotypes by featuring the diversity in our Asian communities,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. “Contra Costa County will make history on the first day of this year’s Lunar New Year, February 1st, with the inaugural event as we honor and celebrate the many different Asian and Pacific Islander cultures and traditions. As an important and integral part of our County family, we celebrate the new year with you, and wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!”

The Asian and Pacific Islander New Year Celebration will be shown at www.contracostaca.gov/6068 or www.contracostatv.org. The community can watch on Contra Costa Television (CCTV) Channels; COMCAST Cable 27.

Rodeo Senior Housing Project  

Supervisors will hold a hearing on a proposal to permit Conservation and Development Director John Kopchick to sign a Development and Loan Agreement between the County and La Loma Rodeo EAU LLC for the sale of county owned property at 710 Willow Ave. in Rodeo.

The Rodeo development calls for the construction of a PA 67-unit affordable unit senior housing project with community space. The developers will receive from the county a $4,450,000 loan from the Housing Succession Low Moderate-Income Funds for construction of the building. The County would sell the County-owned property to La Loma Rodeo for $980,000.

Will honor City of Antioch’s Sesquicentennial – 150th Anniversary

District 3 Supervisor Dianne Burgis who represents portions of Antioch, will present her resolution for adoption that recognizes the City of Antioch’s Sesquicentennial or 150th Anniversary of Incorporation. Antioch was founded as Smith’s Landing in 1849 when the twin Smith brothers purchased land from John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Medano, who had constructed a landing on the San Joaquin River. Following the death of Reverend Joseph Horton Smith in 1850, the residents, under the leadership of Rev. William Wiggins Smith, gathered during the July 4, 1851 picnic and renamed the town Antioch after the biblical city in Syria where the followers of Christ were first called Christians.  The City of Antioch was incorporated on February 6, 1872, becoming Contra Costa County’s original city. (See related article)

 

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Housing construction is key to Contra Costa’s economic rebound in “Post-COVID New World Order” Supervisors told

Saturday, January 29th, 2022

Construction Activity in Contra Costa County. Source: Beacon Economics

By Daniel Borsuk

A housing boom in the single family and multi-family residential construction sectors will jump start Contra Costa County’s economy in the post-COVID 19 era, economist Dr. Christopher Thornberg told the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors during their retreat on Tuesday.

“Housing, housing, housing is the wave of the future for Contra Costa County,” Dr. Thornberg of Beacon Economics said during a two-hour remote presentation entitled “The Post-Covid New World Order: It’s a seller’s market for now.”

In 2021, Contra Costa County outpaced other Bay Area counties especially San Francisco and Alameda counties in issuing single family and multi-family residential permits, the economist said.  Housing construction serves as an economic sparkplug for the local economy – stores and services, especially public schools.

From this increased economic activity, the county will draw increased sales tax revenue particularly from the newly voter approved Measure X sales tax measure.  County officials estimate Measure X will pump in $170 million of additional revenue for county health and social programs for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Contra Costa County had issued 1,687 permits in 2021 for single family residential units, an increase of 466 permits from 2019 and 1,336 permits for multi-family residential units, an increase of 580 units from 2019, based on statistics that Dr. Thornberg showed.

In the meantime, San Francisco City and County issued only 86 single-family housing permits in 2021, an increase of only nine permits from 2020, and 2,075 multi-family residential unit permits in 2021, a decrease of 552 permits, from 2020.

Residential construction in Alameda County was down in both categories. Single family was declined 41 permits with 1,241 permits issued overall in 2021.  Multi-family residential construction was also down 126 units to 2,953 units multi-family residential unit permits overall.

“Offices are going to take a beating in the suburbs,” the economist forecast. More people are working from home, and it appears this remote trend is here to stay for a while, he said.

In San Francisco’s Financial District, where it is nearly deserted because of the pandemic, there are office buildings that are practically empty of workers, Thornberg said.  He said it would be very costly to convert unused office buildings into residential buildings in the city.

79.8 Percent Fully Vaccinated 

Meanwhile, Contra Costa County Health Services Director Anna Roth reported that 79.8 percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.

“Mask-wearing has become a priority and wearing cloth masks are not that protective,” said Roth

Even then there has been a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the county Deputy Health Officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli said with 281 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or the Omicron variant.

Supervisors also learned the county on average administers 12,000 COVID-19 tests daily.

Nino Recommends Postponing $59 Million of American Rescue Plan Funds

Supervisors also, on the recommendation of County Administrator Monica Nino, voted 5-0 to postpone the acceptance of $59 million of the second-year allocation of American Rescue Plan funds “until the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts on Contra Costa County is better understood in January 2023,” she stated.

In the meantime, some $53 million in year two American Rescue Plan funds be accept by the county.

Nino had cited bureaucratic red-tape issues both at the state and federal levels for temporarily halting portions of the federal funds used for rental assistance, employment assistance and other federal government subsidy programs developed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

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Contra Costa Supervisors to consider COVID-related budget issues, Measure X fund allocations during Tuesday retreat

Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

Source: CCC

Administrator to recommend delaying allocation of $59 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds; projects 6% increase in property tax revenues

To hear presentation on “The Post COVID New World Order”

By Daniel Borsuk

Citing bureaucratic red tape, Contra Costa County Administrator Monica Nino will propose the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors postpone spending $59 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds until at least January 2023 in her presentation during their retreat focused on COVID-19 era budget issues, Tuesday.

The retreat will be televised live starting at 9 a.m. on Comcast Cable 27 and WAVE Channel 32 and online.

“The challenge in lining up funds to maximize cost recovery requires constant monitoring (coordination) between departments,” County Administrator Nino stated in documents recommending the partial funding postponement.

At the same time, Nino will also recommend $53 million in American Rescue Plan funds be allocated to the Contra Costa Health Services Department to improve response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the upcoming 2022/2023 fiscal year.

Supervisors are also expected to learn that for the upcoming fiscal year, $107 million of Measure X sales tax revenues will be allocated for the budget and 15 percent of the county’s labor contracts, including the California Nurses Association contract, which will be up for renewal on June 30. The 2022/2023 fiscal year budget will mark the first time Measure X funds will be spent.

County Administrator Nino is also expected to announce property taxes are to increase six percent for fiscal year 2022/2023, 3.44 per cent for the county and 3.82 percent for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

“County property taxes declined over 11 percent between 2009 and 2012 and then grew significantly between 2014 and 2019. Projecting an increase of 6 percent for fiscal year 2022/23,” Nino’s report states.

“The budget will be built on assumption of a 6 percent increase in assessed valuation. Fiscal year 2022/23 is projected to be significantly higher than normal,’ she wrote in the background document.

At the retreat, Dan Geiger will offer a presentation by the Contra Costa Budget Justice Coalition, consisting of 34 non-profit organizations focused on county fiscal accountability issues, that will showcase how the organization will monitor the supervisors’ budgetary process especially when in the 2022/2023 fiscal year $110 million of Measure X sales funds will be added to the general fund for the first time.

During their budget discussion, Supervisors will also receive departmental presentations from the Sheriff-Coroner, District Attorney, Public Defender, Health Services Director, Employment and Human Services Director and Animal Services Director.

Contra Costa County voters passed the Measure X countywide, half-cent sales tax increase on the November 2020 ballot.

The supervisors will also receive a report on Capital Projects, the Facilities Condition Assessment and the Facilities Master Plan.

The Post COVID New World Order presentation

Supervisors will also hear a report entitled, “The Post COVID New World Order – It’s a seller’s market for now,” delivered by Dr. Christopher Thornberg of independent economic research and consulting firm Beacon Economics. Thornberg predicts unemployment in the county should be 3.4 percent by the end of 2022, which is currently pegged at 4.6 percent.

“Labor tightness sets off an investment boom,” he will predict, but the economist will also warn, “Expect a sugar crash to come, combination of a tight federal budget and inflation.”

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.                                            

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