By Jeff Horseman | [email protected] | The Press-EnterprisePUBLISHED: February 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm | UPDATED: February 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm A surge in enrollment for public assistance has forced Riverside County officials in recent months to add more than $10 million to the budget for the Department of Public Social Services. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 5 added $4.4 million in contingency funds to social services’ budget, which stood at roughly $1 billion entering this fiscal year. That’s on top of $6 million added to the budget in December, bringing the total infusion to $10.4 million for the fiscal year ending June 30. Most of that money will come from federal and state sources. About $42 million of Riverside County’s social services’ budget comes from county government. The extra money was needed to cover changes to the county’s “General Relief” program, which is run by social services, county spokeswoman Brooke Federico said. … [Read more...] about Riverside County adds $10.4M to social services budget
Riverside county planning department
By Jeff Horseman | [email protected] | The Press-EnterprisePUBLISHED: January 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm | UPDATED: January 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm New faces will meet familiar challenges when the Riverside County Board of Supervisors convenes Tuesday, Jan. 8 for the first time in 2019. Two supervisors – former Corona mayor Karen Spiegel and former Calimesa mayor Jeff Hewitt – will be newcomers to the five-member board, which in all will have four new members elected since 2015. The new board offers some reflection of the county’s diversity, with a woman, an African American, and a Latino to go with two white men. Their biggest quandary remains the county’s $5.5 billion budget. For years, revenue has struggled to eclipse a mounting list of new, ongoing and inflexible expenses. These include costs tied to an expanded Indio jail and a lawsuit settlement mandating improved health care for jail inmates, as well as pension obligations that could add $303 million to the … [Read more...] about Riverside County supervisors have new look, old problems in 2019
By Jeff Horseman | [email protected] | The Press-Enterprise PUBLISHED: October 15, 2018 at 12:24 pm | UPDATED: October 15, 2018 at 12:24 pm The two newcomers slated to be elected to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors won’t be lacking for challenges when they take office in January. The county’s $5.5 billion budget is constantly squeezed, and expenses — some new, some ongoing, many legally mandatory — continue to outpace revenue. One of the biggest obligations is a pension debt that could cost as much as $300 million more than it does now by 2023. Meanwhile, there’s a challenge to beef up sheriff patrols in unincorporated parts of the county, where there’s less money for public safety. And there’s the long-term Riverside County challenge — how to create good, local jobs so residents don’t have to spend hours a day driving out of the county for work. The Press-Enterprise asked the four candidates running for two … [Read more...] about Election: Candidates for Riverside County Supervisor talk debt, safety, jobs
By Jeff Horseman | [email protected] | The Press-EnterprisePUBLISHED: September 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm | UPDATED: September 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm Cities that use the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for their police are happy with the service, but not the price tag. But county officials say if anything, it’s the county that’s been getting a raw deal. County government, they say, isn’t getting enough to cover the cost of sheriff’s services to cities. With that in mind, the Board of Supervisors could change how the rate paid by contract cities is calculated. That could boost costs for cities already upset with the current rates and spur cities to form their own police departments or a multi-city police force – something that’s already being explored. “Cities are being priced out of the sheriff’s market,” said San Jacinto city manager Rob Johnson. “I would say we’re not excited about the concept of being … [Read more...] about Could Riverside County cities leave the Sheriff’s Department over a rate dispute?
By Jeff Horseman | [email protected] | The Press-EnterprisePUBLISHED: September 11, 2018 at 6:02 pm | UPDATED: September 11, 2018 at 6:05 pm The director of child protective services in Riverside County has left her job amid accusations of botched investigations that led to horrific outcomes for endangered children. No reason was given Monday, Sept. 10 for why Susan von Zabern is no longer director of the Department of Public Social Services. The move comes in the wake of two recent lawsuits that raise questions about the department’s ability to shield children from abuse and neglect. The civil lawsuits, filed on behalf of the alleged victims and not previously disclosed publicly, claim county social workers mishandled cases involving a 3-year-old found hugging her infant sibling’s mummified corpse and a 13-year-old raped repeatedly and eventually impregnated by her mother’s live-in boyfriend. County spokesman Ray Smith declined to comment on the von … [Read more...] about Riverside County’s top social services official leaves; lawsuits allege her office allowed a girl to be raped, another to live with dead baby