MARIPOSA – As the most recent stay at home order is lifted across the state, there is hope on the horizon. Vaccines are being distributed, pandemic case numbers are dropping and businesses are beginning to reopen. We must remain vigilant—we’re not out of the woods just yet—but there is hope that we will be able to move to the next “normal” sometime later this year. Now, looking ahead, your input is needed to help determine what that means for Mariposa County.
Like most organizations, Mariposa County made significant budget reductions as a result of the pandemic. We lost or froze 65 full-time positions and many part-time jobs. We postponed or canceled projects and used all but the very last of our reserves. We have shifted resources to minimize public impact and ensure public health and safety through a health catastrophe, wildfires, storms, and everything else that has come our way. When possible, we have passed resources on to our community and we continue to explore every avenue to provide additional relief to those who need it most.
With all of the challenges we have experienced together, and everything that is still going on today, there is a silver lining as we pause to glimpse the future. The County and the community have a unique opportunity to rebuild better than we were before. We have an opportunity, through the budget process that is beginning now, to realign public resources and services so they better meet the needs and desires of our residents and businesses. Along with rebuilding the reserves that mitigated more significant reductions, we have an opportunity to refocus public resources on improving your quality of life and ensuring a brighter future for coming generations.
To take advantage of this opportunity, we need to know what is most important to you. If you haven’t ever spoken with or written to your elected supervisor, now would be an excellent time to do so. You can find their contact information on the County website at www.mariposacounty.org/boardofsupervisors.
We have also put together a brief survey that we’d like as many as possible to complete. The survey asks participants to rank a dozen services and tell us how you would spend one million dollars in the County budget if it were completely up to you. It should take no more than five minutes to complete, but your input will tell us a lot about your priorities and how we can be more responsive to what you want from your local government. You can find the survey on the homepage of the website or at www.mariposacounty.org/budget.
Over the last year, we have seen again the resilience of our community. I have tremendous gratitude for heroic local professionals who have gone a few extra miles, in many cases, to keep our community healthy and safe despite multiple disasters. I am in awe of the volunteers who run to the aid of their neighbors in an emergency or give endlessly of their time to keep our community moving. I have seen the courage in the eyes of our business owners and residents and their collective determination to make it through to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Mariposa County, led by the Board of Supervisors, wants to do everything possible to support and contribute to our community in the ways that are most meaningful to you. As we begin the budget process for what we all hope will be a better year, we appreciate any and all feedback you are able to share that will help us deliver on our promise to improve your quality of life through the efficient delivery of outstanding public services.