By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday approved spending $204,000 through June on four new jobs centered on economic development and business attraction.
It is the first step in hiring plan that calls for $591,000 in new county spending annually over the next five years.
The positions include three county jobs and one contract position. The expenditure is linked to a planned increase in county spending on economic development and private-sector job creation.
The plan was driven by Supervisors Mike McGuire and Efren Carrillo and endorsed by the full board in November.
The $204,000 expenditure this fiscal year is to be paid out of a fund supported by hotel bed taxes.
But going forward, that source will not be sufficient to pay for the entire program, including a $188,000 per-year customer service ombudsman job at the Permit and Resources Management Department, county staff reported.
Supervisors did not make any decisions about the future expenditures or where the funding would come from.
The other three jobs include two county Economic Development Department positions — a business retention specialist and an economic development specialist — and a time-limited, contract position to help local businesses over regulatory hurdles. The three jobs account for the remaining $403,000 in new annual spending.