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O.C. now 'a hostage' to state's financial blunders, supervisor says

July 21, 2009 |  5:55 pm

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Patricia Bates said late this afternoon that the county would probably discuss joining a lawsuit that Los Angeles County plans against the state over the budget proposal.

"We'll wait through this week to see what's actually voted on," Bates said of the state budget. "Nothing is going to be off the table. We have a strategic plan which dictates what the revenues are and what the spending can be next to those revenues. When it gets out of kilter is when the state doesn't do the same thing, and looks to reserves we've saved . . . and takes those."

Bates said the county was now "a hostage."

"It's never a good feeling to be a hostage, and that's what we believe we are," she said, "a hostage to the poor financial management on the part of the state government."

Bates said she has asked the public works department to look at the effect of the state budget proposal on capital projects, especially those that were to receive matching federal funds to generate jobs as part of President Obama’s stimulus plan.

"If we can't provide those matching funds, can we receive the stimulus money” to start projects that might not be funded to completion and thus not generate all the jobs expected, Bates asked. "It's almost like a domino effect, when you take out the center. . . . What does that mean in terms of being able to deliver on those promises made?"

Supervisor John Moorlach said he didn't blame L.A. County officials for their decision to sue the state. "They're the biggest, so if they start saber-rattling, you know, that's nice for the rest of us," he said. "Good. Shake up Sacramento."

-- Tami Abdollah, reporting from Costa Mesa