Fall is upon us! The FDSA Memorial Golf Tournament is just a few weeks away and we are busy making last minute preparations for another successful event! The annual event is sold out and we have a rather extensive waiting list for those still wanting to play. We are trying to accommodate as many golfers as possible, while also ensuring rounds aren't too long. The course is in great condition for the tournament on October, 20, 2017 at Eagle Springs Golf Course.
2017/2018 Fresno County Budget Hearings
We are pleased to report that budget hearings lasted only one day this year. They were held on Monday, September, 18, 2017.
The daylong process was a huge contrast from prior years. The hearings went smoothly, in large part due to the cohesiveness and common goals of the current Board of Supervisors. The group is committed to working together with a priority to support public safety services in Fresno County.
Overall, the County of Fresno is operating a healthy and balanced budget. The over $3 billion dollar budget, funds 23 different departments and numerous programs within the county. This is a complex system. Some of our newer county leaders, like the new Auditor/Controller, Oscar Garcia, and a second year Chief Administrative Officer, Jean Rousseau- were able to see the process differently than years passed. This year the direction provided by the Board of Supervisors was clear and there were no snags or shenanigans.
Some highlights for the Fresno County Sheriff's Office include:
The County of Fresno still has a lot of outstanding debt to repay or pay coming up for this year. This is the final year of payment for the Quinten Hall Jail Lawsuit settlement.
$2.6 million dollars had to be funded for the hiring of an additional 42 correctional officers.
Pension Obligation Bond money - nine million in funding will be used to make a final payment on one of the pension obligation bonds.
The general fund reserve was increased by seven million dollars this year as well.
I have provided details about these different debts for several reasons. As long as the economy remains stable, these funds will be available in the next year. One example is the $2.6 million dollars allotted to hire CO's. Next year, this could be used to hire of more deputy sheriff's, dispatchers, and support staff to help alleviate the shortage of manpower we are experiencing at the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. Currently, we are still 60 plus deputy sheriff positions down from where we really need to be. This Board of Supervisors is committed to bridging that gap and getting us back to the level of operations where we can reduce the overtime and ‘overworked status' of many employees here.
2018 Insurance Rates
Open enrollment for 2018 health insurance is from November 1st -30th, 2017. You will see not only a reduction in overall percentage from Blue Shield, but you will also see the county contribution increase as well. All of this equals more money in your pocket and less spent on health insurance (out of pocket bi-weekly by the member).
Other notable portfolio details include:
The 2018 rates attached reflect the three different plan options for all of you to see. These rates will include dental and life insurance as well.
Representatives from DiBudou and DeFendis will be at the FDSA on Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 8am-12pm to answer any questions you or your family members may have about our current health plan. Also they can answer any questions about changes that can be made, or how you or your family can benefit from the different plans.
You will see from the chart below- the rates continue to decline for members of the Insurance Trust. This is a direct reflection on the FDSA membership and how we are using, and not abusing our insurance plan. We have seen more people going to Urgent Care and utilizing the Teledoc service- than hospitals. These two things alone will reduce the billing amount – which provides lower cost renewal rates.
2018 Shift Signups
Shift signups will be Thursday, October 26, 2017, beginning at 8am at the Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association Office. We will have vendors from DiBudou and DeFendis, California Casualty and from AFLAC as well.
The key assignment list for 2018 will be posted soon on the Star 2.0 page for everyone to view. This list has been finalized by FDSA and the FSO – and we are on track to get people signed up, followed by vacation signups after that.
Those of you signing up for patrol this year will receive a specific time slot. As we have done in prior years- we will ensure the seniority list is accurate before this takes place. Once that occurs, you will be given a time to show up. Deputies who have worked at FSO less than three years will receive the same time block to show up and sign up as a group. Seniority will take place with your group as well.
Vacation signups will be conducted shortly after patrol signups to ensure proper planning for you and your family.
The goal of the agency in 2018 is to continue hiring deputy sheriffs to fill our vacancies and alleviate the staffing shortage. With hiring comes training and deployment. The process is not fast and isn't a turnkey either. This not only holds true for deputies, but all the rest of the job classifications we represent. I value our personnel in this department and the job you all do regardless of your assignment.
Take care of one another.