Every Day An Opportunity to Save Money for Bexar County!
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
December 11, 2008

The work of fighting rising taxes consists of daily attention to a great deal of fairly mundane figures and aspects of our county's operations. About eighty percent of the County's work principally involves health and justice. To save means to decide and to decide is necessarily to choose one policy over another. Naturally all of these decisions are not popular, but when the results are in, the goal is to ensure that our County works both efficiently and effectively.

I have set forth some of the primary areas I have worked in with the support of my fellow members of Commissioner's Court. If there's any credit in this work, credit the Court. If there's any blame, I willingly accept it as the price of trying to make a difference.

The below figures are estimates of areas where your Commissioner's Court has in my opinion, made a big difference. And, these are not the only areas where we can save money. That work remains.

Energy Savings---Conservation$ 453,411.00

Insurance Savings$1,776,195.00

Net Depository Savings $3,000,000.00

Annual Net Savings 100 GPS Units$1,323,424.00

(supervise qualified inmates with state of the art global positioning system to track all whereabouts)

Jail Operations Cost

The cost of 400 inmates that qualified to be on work-release, GPS, bond, or simply not being allowed to get hung up in our jail for no good reason$ 8,000,000.00

ESTIMATED TOTAL ANNUAL SAVINGS $14,553,030.00

A long time ago, I heard that the larger the organization, the dumber it gets. Well Bexar County is a very large organization and although it's not the only large one, it is the one that I believe I can directly impact with your help.

One of the future areas that I would like to tackle and have set up an Initiative to deal with is diabetes. I once asked a medical doctor who had familiarity with public policy implications of diabetes how much money might Bexar County save if we just ratcheted the 17% local incidence of diabetes back to the national incidence rate of 7%. He told me, "conservatively, $100 million annually"! Even with the roughly $800 million annual budget that the University Health System has, that's a lot!

Think of the other implications of Bexar County's epidemic level of diabetes:

Heart Disease and Stroke, High Blood Pressure, Blindness, Kidney Disease, Nervous System Disease, Amputations, Dental Disease, Complications of Pregnancy and Other Complications.

It is easy to see that there is no lack of work in achieving savings in our Bexar County. The big ticket items such as the jail require substantial room for those whose incarceration secures public safety. Attacking diabetes requires long-term education.

In the meantime, may you and yours have a happy holiday season!

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