Dollars and Sense

I want to take a few minutes to share with you where we are in budget development for PCHS. Executive Dammeier presented his first biennial budget (covering two full years, 2020 and 2021) to the County Council a few weeks ago on September 24. His proposed budget included funding for Pierce County Human Services in a variety of areas:

The Executive included in the proposed budget $1.2M in grant and tax dollars to:

  • Establish the Veterans Resource Center, which will include:
    • a partnership with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs to hire 2 Veteran Service Officers (VSOs).
    • capital dollars to remodel the Soundview building on Pacific Avenue so we can offer space to partner agencies who also serve vets.
  • Increase staffing in the following ways:
    • Small increases in the Energy Program (.44 and .23 FTE for two positions) to support growing program demand.
    • Twelve additional case managers in Aging and Disability Resources to serve increasing caseloads.
    • An internal promotion in the Community Development Program to compensate staff for higher-level work.
  • Make a technical correction to move the Minor Home Program from the Community Development Fund to the Community Action Fund, where the employees who do the work are charged.

There is also $610K in general fund dollars to respond to the Human Services Study completed by Public Consulting Group by:

  1. Hiring a consultant to help with ongoing change management, stakeholder outreach, project management, and facilitator support.
  2. Hiring a grant writer to help us secure additional funding.
  3. Hiring a contract manager to develop and implement a contract monitoring system for PCHS.
  4. Hiring a consultant to help us align and integrate our various continuing quality improvement efforts (in Lean, the Washington State Quality Award, and Results Oriented Management Accountability Standards).

More generally, the proposed budget also includes:

  1. Minor changes…both additions and reductions…to our central service costs (what we pay as our share of the overall County administrative costs).
  2. Acknowledgement of a Premera Social Impact Grant, allowing Comprehensive Life Resources to expand MCIRT services into Lakewood.

Our annual budget for PCHS is just under $90M, so while this proposed biennial budget represents a modest increase in dollars, it more importantly represents a strong vote of confidence from Executive Dammeier for the work we do and will continue to do over the next two years.  The funding provided to pursue the PCG recommendations will lead to some interesting and informative conversations with many of you about the county’s role in service provision. I’m grateful for Bruce’s support of our work, and I look forward to presenting this budget proposal for PCHS to the County Council during its Committee of the Whole meeting on November 7.  I’ll let you know how it goes!