The board received the 2022-23 Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Annual Update

NORTH COUNTY — The Board of Supervisors reviewed the FY 2023-24 Budget Goals and Priorities, Budget Balancing Strategies and Approaches, and Board Priorities at the board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Rebecca Campbell, the assistant county administrative officer, presented the item to the board. 

During her presentation, Campbell presented the board with the FY 2023-24 Proposed Budget Focus Chart, which was broken up into three categories.

  1. Legal Requirements (which included Meeting Legal Mandates and Meeting Debt Service Requirements.
  2. Priorities (which were broken up into two categories)
  1. Short Term, including Homelessness, Water Resiliency, Economic Development, and Housing. 
  2. Long-Term, including Public Safety and Roads.

It was agreed upon, during deliberation, by all five supervisors that Public Safety and Homelessness (including mental health and housing) were top priorities. 


District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson suggested amendments be made to the chart for more focus.

District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold and District 1 Supervisor John Peschong both agreed that roads should maintain being a priority. However, the other three members of the board stated that they would like to have roads removed from the long-term budget priorities.

“I just want to remind everybody this is our budget priorities,” Arnold stated. “This is the money that we’re taking from the taxpayers in one form or another, even if it’s the money that is already siloed out, state or federal; it’s coming from somebody’s pockets somewhere and coming down for us to be able to do the best job we can in providing as many services as we can and making our county as prosperous as we can.”

She also stated that it took her five years after her first election to get roads put on the chart.  

In a consistent three to two votes, with Supervisors Gibson, Jimmy Paulding (District 4), and Dawn Ortiz-Legg (District 3) being for and Supervisors Peschong and Arnold being against, the board passed to amend the chart.

The new chart changes Legal Requirements to Ongoing Priorities, which will be

  1. Ongoing Priorities (which include Meeting Legal Mandates, Meeting Debt Service Requirements, and Public Safety)
  2. FY 2023 Priorities (which are now separated into tiers)
  1. Tier 1 (which includes homelessness, behavioral health, and housing)
  2. Tier 2 (which includes storm recovery, economic development, and water resiliency)

“I just want to make a note to folks listening that just because we really honed in on these things, it’s really helpful for our staff to understand,” said Ortiz-Legg. “That doesn’t mean that we’re going to ignore public works and the roads.”

The new chart passed in a 3-1 vote.

Frank Warren, the prevention and outreach division manager, and the mental services mental health services act coordinator from the County Behavioral Health Department gave the board a presentation on the 2022-23 Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Annual Update and Three-year Expenditure Plan (FY 2024-2026).

In the 2021-22 Year, $18.83 million in MHSA (Mental Health Services Act) revenue came in, and there was $24.8 million in expenses. 

The Fiscal Year 2022-23 Adopted Budget is $27.9 million, with $20.5 million coming from MHSA and $7.4 million coming from other revenue. The fund balance as of Sept. 18, 2022 (excluding Prudent Reserve), was $22,405,881. 

This was a Receive and File and passed unanimously.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7.