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Law enforcement funds restored

 

There's good news and bad news out of Sacramento for the extra Sheriff's Office squad car that patrols Woodside and Portola Valley during the day.

With the signing of SB 89, Gov. Jerry Brown restored the supplement that cities and towns have been receiving since 2001 to augment the costs of laws enforcement, the Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS) program. Woodside and Portola Valley have been using COPS money to pay for a second deputy sheriff in a car.

But the bill also takes the last share of vehicle license fee revenues for cities and towns.

"For Woodside, this means that we get the $100,000 targeted for safety services, but lose about $25,000 in discretionary general fund monies, creating a new hole in the budget," Town Manager Susan George said in her latest report to the Town Council.

The state "took" $131.1 million in vehicle license fees and from that reallocated $72.9 million to safety services, Ms. George said. Things could still change, she added. "We need to keep this on our watch list."

Portola Valley also has its $100,000 restored, in exchange for a loss of vehicle license fee revenue of $14,500, Stacie Nerdahl, Portola Valley's administrative services officer, told the Almanac.

Facing the loss of state funding, the town councils had been ready to use the money already allocated -- about $118,000 in each town -- to pay for a second deputy on a motorcycle, a more affordable alternative.

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