Hundreds of Lake County residents participated in the initial round of Community Visioning Forums in January 2018. They shared their ideas, priorities and needs.
The community’s vision presented a path forward for the next ten years. On April 10, the Board of Supervisors took a powerful step toward a brighter future, adopting the community’s priorities through Vision 2028.
Since then, County Administrative Officer Carol J. Huchingson has been making appearances at public meetings throughout the County, sharing visioning updates, answering the public’s questions about the County government’s financial condition and looking ahead to potential solutions.
“Not everyone has been able to see one of my public presentations, and I want to ensure that all are aware of the deep challenges we are facing,” relates Huchingson. “That is why we developed http://www.lakecountyca.gov/vision/,” a series of web pages designed to inform and engage Lake County residents.
This week, Huchingson and her staff developed “Financial Facts and the Future,” a five-part series of one-page fact sheets. These documents plainly lay out the principal causes of the County’s financial hardship, including:
- Operating with Property Tax Revenues still at 80% of pre-recession levels
- Loss of just over 5% of the County’s housing supply to disaster, nearly twice the percentage lost by Sonoma County in the horrific 2017 North Bay Firestorm (2.55%)
- Transient Occupancy Tax Revenues at 50% of pre-recession levels
- Impending elimination of Federal Geothermal Royalties, another hit of more than $700,000 per year
- Far-reaching effects of state-mandated Minimum Wage increases, including more than $2.5 million in increased the County’s In-Home Supportive Services obligations
- A 10% County workforce reduction since 2008, which has already severely affected every department, and concern that further deep and compounding cuts may be needed
“Just getting back to our baseline will cost $15 million,” states Huchingson. “Unless we gain new revenue, the next four fiscal years are projected to add more than $18 million to that shortfall. The challenges are great, but the resolve of this community should never be underestimated.”
The fifth fact sheet details the community’s vision, Vision 2028, the path toward a brighter future.
“I sincerely hope that all County residents will visit http://www.lakecountyca.gov/vision/, read our one-pager series, and write to me, email@example.com,” encourages Huchingson.
Huchingson will release further content in the days to come, including a video series with key information she hopes will reach an even broader audience.
“Building a brighter future will require the energy of the whole community. Reimagining and reshaping Lake County after years of recession and disaster will depend upon the efforts of our 65,000 residents, alongside those of County government officials.”
For more information, visit http://www.lakecountyca.gov/vision/. To share your ideas, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.