Resolution: No. 09-04

Regarding the Fiscal Year 2004-2005 Contingency Budget, and Urging the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors To Work Together To Minimize Reductions To Health Services

WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco is facing a $299 million dollar shortfall for fiscal year 2004-2005; and,

WHEREAS, the Department of Public Health has submitted to the Mayor a base budget that includes absorbing $19.7 million in unavoidable increases and a $12.6 million decrease in General Fund usage; and,

WHEREAS, the Department of Public Health has been requested to develop a contingency plan that will decrease the utilization of its General Fund by an additional 8.2 percent, which is a $19.7 million reduction; and,

WHEREAS, these cuts will total the largest single year General Fund cuts that the Department of Public Health has ever had to consider; and,

WHEREAS, included in the contingency budget are $2.6 million of administrative cuts, which equates to 36.84 fulltime budgeted positions; these administrative reductions are in addition to the 85 positions that were eliminated in the base budget; and,

WHEREAS, the Department has worked exhaustively to achieve this level of budget reductions by focusing on internal operations while minimizing cuts to direct services, and staff should be applauded for their efforts; and,

WHEREAS, despite these efforts, some reductions will occur and these reduction will have an impact on services; and,

WHEREAS, the Commission has heard extensive testimony about the reconfiguration of mental health services within The Mission; and,

WHEREAS, there will be a loss of valued employees who have contributed to the Departmentís mission over many years; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission understands that the Mayor and Board of Supervisors, during these tough fiscal times, will have to pursue all options to balance the budget, including service reductions, layoffs and new revenue opportunities; and,

WHEREAS, last year City employees agreed to pay their own retirement benefits so that safety net services could continue to be provided; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Department is commended for attempting to achieve savings by reducing infrastructure and administrative services while recommending minimal service cuts that are mostly support services; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the reconfiguration of mental health services in The Mission must be studied further prior to the Health Commission recommending its submission to the Mayor; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission finds that those services that will be eliminated will negatively impact those people currently being served; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the infrastructure and administrative cuts will negatively impact the Departmentís ability to effectively and efficiently carry out its mission but that this will allow preservation of many safety net health services; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission continues to be deeply concerned about the extent of administrative staff reductions proposed and the potential impact on the Departmentís ability to effectively and efficiently manage the wide range of services critical to fulfilling the mission of the Department; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that as a result of the contingency budget reduction, the Department will lose valued employees who have for many years contributed to the Departmentís mission to protect and promote the health of all San Franciscans, and the Health Commission thanks them for their dedication and service; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission encourages the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors to work together with all City Departments to examine all options to balance the budget and minimize cuts to critical public health services; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission supports a continued contribution by employees towards funding pension contributions at the current 7.5 percent rate, in order that crucial safety net services can continue to be provided.

I hereby certify that the San Francisco Health Commission at its meeting of May 11, 2004 adopted the foregoing resolution.

Michele M. Olson, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission