Top 10 Money Savers for Bexar County
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
September 19, 2002

As we go through the budget this year and every year, it is basic that we look for every area in the budget where money can be saved.  After all, this is what most must do in our personal budgets.  To do this, I have begun a "50 Ways to Save Money in Bexar County" (government) from which I have condensed this "Top Ten Money Savers" list. 

This list is far from perfect.  Yet in its humble beginning, with your input we can improve it substantially.  I have attempted to avoid placing false economies such as running the Sheriff's Office with an all-volunteer force and the like.  Please mark it up this list and add your own to it.

  1. Stop renting and start owning buildings! (Our present expenditure of $1.8 million annually on rent will amortize around $20 million in buildings!)
  2. Reduce utilities expenses (electricity-$1,000,000, annually!)
  3. Constantly watch jail population.
    1. Economize at Pre-Trial Services Division.
    2. Ensure that mental health afflicted inmates are in the mental health system as opposed to the criminal justice system, to the extent possible.
    3. Streamline magistration with the City.
  4. Reduce the use of paper in the Courthouse by five (5) percent.
    1. Encourage the use of e-mails and saving documents electronically.
    2. Internal reuse of paper by printing on both sides wherever possible.
  5. Effectively market foreclosed & other nonessential properties. (Joe Newton)
  6. Parking Garage Build-out---auction to private customers to help finance County employees' parking subsidy.
  7. Develop 2003 Legislative Agenda with an eye toward unfunded mandates or toward possible new revenue generators.
    1. Amend state law mandating indigent defense to meet both constitutional requirements while being responsible with our money.
    2. Ensure that no more new courts are created without compelling justification.
  8. Implement a contract & quality control monitor, to give us the biggest bang for our buck.
  9. Consider hiring a staff grant writer.
  10. Replace existing conventional vehicles with hybrid high-mileage, electric/internal combustion vehicles.

I look forward to hearing from each of you and to responding as best I can.  Your insights are much appreciated.

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