Commissioners consider different options to budget for employee losses

Kitsap County’s commissioners haven’t yet decided how to budget for the county’s routine staff losses expected in the upcoming fiscal year.

Amber D'Amato, Kitsap County’s budget and finance officer, has encouraged the commissioners to budget 3 percent staff attrition savings to the county’s general fund, rather than expecting the same percentage savings from each department, individually.

“I’m all for budgeting for some attrition,” she said at the commissioner’s afternoon briefing on Monday. “I think the challenge is to hold each department responsible for it.”

The county sees gaps between losses and new hires every year, she said, so they can expect to save some money through attrition, overall.

But some of the smaller departments may not see a single one of those losses in a given year, she said.

This has increasingly become the case in the past several years, she said, because higher unemployment rates have discouraged employees from leaving their jobs.

Josh Brown, central Kitsap’s commissioner, said that he’d like to see how much the three percent attrition rate works out to, for each department, before he decides how to write that portion of the budget.

He’d also like to speak with department leaders before he makes any decisions, he said.

South Kitsap’s Commissioner, Charlotte Garrido, suggested that the commissioners discuss the idea at a Monday morning meeting, when staff can provide them with more information.

They haven’t yet set a date for that meeting.

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