Sonoma County Board of Supervisors delays vote on Sierra Youth Center

A majority of Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday voiced support for a proposal to outsource the county's residential probation program for teenage girls to a private operator.

The shift ran into strong pushback, however, from Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Susan Gorin, who said plans for career training were not on par with the courses offered to troubled boys under county care.

Zane said she would oppose the deal at the board's meeting next week if additional coursework and funding weren't added into to the final proposal.

"If they don't address the parity issue, they don't have my vote," Zane said in an interview after a nearly two-hour board hearing on the matter.

Supervisors Efren Carrillo, David Rabbitt and Mike McGuire, meanwhile, voiced approval for the cost-saving move. It was initiated by the board last year -- after years of wrangling over the fate of Sierra Youth Center, the girls probation camp -- to address the center's dwindling population of girls and its high-fixed cost, at $1.6 million a year.

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