A few Observations:
We think it’s good news that Marysville’s city administration and council members are moving ahead with a General Fund reserve policy.
The city has been without any sort of real reserve fund for years and, so, was vulnerable when it came to any sort of emergency expense or downturn in collections. The passage of the Measure C 1-cent sales tax makes the difference. The goal now is to have at least 20 percent of operating funds in reserve; with a longer-term goal of 30 percent.
We’re glad that the city is addressing some of these deficiencies.
Now we’re hoping for an eventual plan of attack on the B Street property (you know ... that parcel of land the city bought up years ago to make it handy for developers ... who were never interested ... so now we’re paying interest on interest). And something for dealing with those monstrous empty buildings on the main drag through town ... and homelessness ... and potholes ... that rounds out the to-do list pretty well.
The Health Front
OK. We’ve got some work to do on our health, according to a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The real work might have to do with things that aid or discourage good health ... such as the housing situation in California.
Like the findings or not, the foundation’s data and analysis will be viewed and used by people setting policy – local, sate and nation.
It puts Yuba-Sutter in the bottom half of counties in the state in terms of health. Out of 58 counties, Sutter ranked 32 and Yuba ranked 53rd in health outcomes. In health factors, Sutter ranked 34th and Yuba ranked 49th.
Homer Rice, health administrator for Yuba County Health and Human Services, notes that the rankings the study presents call attention to issues that make it harder for people here to be as healthy as possible.
The study took into account housing costs on health, for instance. The condition of housing for the poor and the amount of money housing takes out of an annual salary ... significant factors. More than 15 percent of our households spend at least half their income on housing.
Other notable stats
Our life expectancy is a few years lower than the state average. We have more deaths among children. We have more obese adults. We have more people who are “food insecure.”
Our high school graduation rate is lower. We have more children living in poverty.
Our median household income is much less than the state average – $53,800 in Yuba County, $54,100 in Sutter County and $71,800 in the state.
Problems to tackle.
We need a local facility that offers shelter to single homeless men. Our assortment of homeless services fit various needs – most offering beds and shelter serve women and children; occasionally men as part of family groups. Most do not cater to individual, single males.
The Twin Cities Rescue Mission fills that important niche – somewhere for single men to find shelter from the elements, and maybe find some programing that could help them.
The Mission was set back a notch this past week with reports that the religious-based non-profit had failed to submit tax filings with the Internal Revenue Services for at least three years and its tax exempt status was revoked.
The Mission and its management and board of directors have evidently gone through some changes and there was some misdirection. Reportedly, work is being done to right the problem so that the Mission will not be forced to pay taxes and so donors can claim the deduction.
Here’s hoping it gets straightened out quickly (though some warn it could take quite a while ... dealing with the IRS). The new director there assures us that the Mission will keep on functioning. But we’ll feel a lot better about it when the problem is fixed.