Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Health System



April 20, 2009


May 19, 2009







Honorable Board of Supervisors


Jean Fraser, Chief, Health System


Brian J. Zamora, Director, Community Health Division


Gail Raabe, Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer



Ordinances repealing and replacing Sections 5.124.020 (related to weights and measures devices) and 5.144.040 (related to point-of-sale systems) of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code and a Resolution amending the fee schedule for the Agricultural Commissioner




Adopt two Ordinances repealing and replacing Sections 5.124.020 (related to weighing and measuring devices) and 5.144.040 (related to point-of-sale systems) of the San Mateo County Ordinance Code and waiver of the reading of the ordinances; and


Adopt a Resolution amending the fee schedule for the Agricultural Commissioner.



Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.

Goal 20: Government decisions are based on careful consideration of future impact, rather than temporary relief or immediate gain.


These fee increases contribute to the commitment and goal by maintaining a proper relationship between costs and revenues and by assuring that those who use County services pay the cost of providing those services.


Performance Measure:


FY 2008-09


FY 2009-10

Percent of businesses in compliance with Weights and Measures requirements




The Board of Supervisors approved ordinance amendments setting the current device and Point-of-Sale system (POS) registration fee schedule on June 19, 2007 (Ordinances No. 04378, No. 04379). The Business and Professions Code (BPC) provides authority for counties to set device and POS registration fees by ordinance. The current agricultural program fees were set on June 19, 2007 (Resolution No. 063819). Fees for plant shipment certification requested by agricultural businesses are authorized in Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) and may be set by resolution.



The proposed fee increases are for device registration, POS registration, and agricultural shipment phytosanitary certification. Inspection program costs have been developed using direct personnel hours from the previous fiscal year and projected FY 2009-10 salaries and benefits, direct expenditures such as mileage and equipment, and associated indirect costs. The Division’s salaries and benefits have increased six percent due to negotiated labor increases since the current fee schedules were established. Device registration fees fund the commercial weighing and measuring devices inspection program. The revised 2010 device fee schedule will maintain 100% cost recovery. For most devices the new fee will be $90 per location and $17 per device. The average basic fees of other Bay Area counties are $98 per location and $19 per device. Price verification inspections are performed at businesses that use POS systems. Businesses will be charged $178 or $297 depending on the number of check-out stands. The proposed POS fees will allow the POS program to maintain the current level of inspections and are similar to an average of other Bay Area counties ($177 or $268). The new device and POS fee schedules would be effective January 1, 2010.


Phytosanitary inspections are performed at the request of County growers or shippers to certify that exported agricultural commodities meet the requirements of the destination state or country. The fees, which are based on the number of packages in shipments, will increase by $2.00 per package category and will allow the Division to maintain the current level of service. Phytosanitary certification fee structures vary; however, the proposed fees are three percent lower on average than Santa Clara and two percent higher than San Francisco.


The proposed ordinance amendments and resolution have been reviewed and approved by County Counsel.



The proposed fee increases will contribute to the Division’s ability to maintain customer service levels within its Net County Cost target. It is projected that the new fees will result in an increase in revenue of $58,380 (device registration: $38,400; POS: $19,980) which has been included in the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer FY 2009-10 Recommended Budget. Though phytosanitary fees will be increased to maintain full cost recovery for this service, additional revenue was not added to the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer 2009-10 Recommended Budget because there has been a decline in the number of inspection requests.