“The Worst is Yet to Come”

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors will host an economic and budget forum called "The Worst is Yet to Come" on today.

County officials say the forum will examine how their finances are being squeezed by the current economic downturn.

County Administrator Susan Muranishi said in a statement, "We are experiencing a perfect storm when it comes to Alameda County's finances and  the programs the county provides."

Muranishi said, "The funds we need to provide vital health care, social services and public protection programs are dwindling at a time when  the public demand for these services is going up."

According to Muranishi, the steep drop in home prices means a corresponding reduction in property tax revenue received by the county.

Efforts to close large budget deficits in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., also mean Alameda County must brace for deep reductions in  funding from state and federal governments, she said.

The Board of Supervisors has invited mayors and other elected officials to attend the forum, as well as local leaders in health care,  labor, social services, public safety and other vital services.

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, who chairs the county's Budget Work Group, said the forum will provide an opportunity to explain how  county programs are funded and how the impacts of the global financial  meltdown will trickle down to affect key local services.

The forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Elihu Harris  State Office Building Auditorium at 1515 Clay Street in Oakland.

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