When they were on the Fresno City Council, Sal Quintero and Andreas Borgeas each had a pot of city money they could tap to pay for pothole repairs, community meetings or other outreach efforts in their districts. They want to tap surplus office funds to create the same kind of cash pot now that they’re on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.
But the latitude sought by Supervisors Quintero,Borgeas and Nathan Magsig could come with some pretty serious strings on the money when a proposal comes back to the board in early June.
On Tuesday, Quintero made his third pitch to allow for transferring surplus money within each supervisor’s office budget into a discretionary pool of funds from which to sponsor community events, chip in to help nonprofits or underwrite fixes for constituent concerns such as potholes or curb painting. “The money we’re talking about for each district, this is taxpayer money that we’re doing,” Quintero said. “And we’re simply giving it back to them, to communities to host events that can’t afford to host an event, to help buy library books for a school, that type of thing.”
When they were on the Fresno City Council, Quintero and Borgeas each had a pot of money to use at their discretion. This year, it’s $50,000 per council district.
“It’s about two different cultures. Having come from the city of Fresno … we both had become accustomed to certain latitudes that existed in that culture,” Borgeas said. “When I came to the county (board), there were no latitudes whatsoever. That was a bit of a shock.”
On a 4-1 vote, the supervisors directed County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau to work with Quintero and Borgeas on policies that would allow board members to shift surpluses within their budgets to deal with constituent issues.
A split decision by the supervisors is likely on whatever policy is proposed. Supervisor Buddy Mendes said that whenever he’s approached by organizations for support or sponsorships, “I’m used to writing my own check out of my own accounts.” Borgeas said he, too, opposes using the money for event sponsorships.
Board chairman Brian Pacheco said he opposes the idea.