From the Desk of
County Commissioner Billy Shreve
(4/11) This is the World we Live in …
Tsunami’s in Japan and the nuclear meltdown, Riots and the toppling of Dictators in the Middle East and North Africa, Financial Meltdown in America … This is the world we live in. Our World will constantly change, evolve, and regress. One of my favorite quotes is "Revolution is OK as long as you are on the Right side." These are the cards we are dealt. We can either fold
and walk away or take the lemons and make Lemon Aide. Every day when we wake up we make the choice … Pull the covers over our head and hide or embrace the realities and challenges that lie ahead. We have a choice. We are responsible for our own destiny.
This World needs leadership more than ever right now and it needs people to stand up and fight for what is right. It needs Leaders to make tough decisions. I can tell you that this Board of Frederick County Commissioners (BoCC) is 100% committed to making the tough decisions. We are committed to reinventing the Government of Frederick County and showing compassion for the
tax payer. As Commissioner Kirby Delauter says … "Government has never had a revenue problem, they have had a spending Problem". This Board will control spending and will not raise taxes. We will work to reduce taxes and burdensome fees on our citizens.
Every day costs money. This BoCC starting cutting ASAP which means the savings fell to the bottom line ASAP. We have cut / reduced and eliminated 175 positions in this proposed budget cycle! That is 7% of the county workforce. These positions were budgeted through June 1st - that saving fell to the bottom line. Of the 175 positions, 106 real people are out of a job - that
also saved in OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits – Healthcare, Pensions, etc).
The BoCC relinquished Head Start back to the Federal Government, an immediate savings of over $2 Million Dollars for the 2012 proposed budget. We were the only county in the state running this program. These are tough, but necessary fiscally responsible decisions that this BoCC is making. No stone is left unturned as we re-focus our Government on essential services:
Education, Roads, Water, Solid Waste, and Public Safety. We believe Less Government, Lower Taxes, and Job Creation is the path to Economic Recovery and Prosperity.
This following is a synopsis of our commitment to taking on the challenge of balancing the budget … with full cooperation from the Board of Education … and not taking 6 months to do it. We are moving at an aggressive pace because we have compassion – compassion for the taxpayer.
When the Frederick Board of County Commissioners presented a balanced budget on March 8, the board also dealt a deep blow to the county’s structural deficit problem that has been growing since FY 2002. The structural deficit occurs when the county spends more money on programs and services than it receives in revenues and must balance recurring expenditures with one-time
When the board took office on December 1, 2010, it not only faced an $11.8 million deficit, but also a $31 million structural deficit. The proposed budget removes the budget deficit in FY 2012 and reduces the structural deficit to $19 million.
Complicating the structural deficit further, Frederick County is generating less revenue from property taxes from one year to the next due to lowered property assessments.
The Frederick County Budget Office believes that this is the first time in recent memory that the constant yield tax rate -- the real property tax rate for the coming year that will generate the same amount of revenue that was generated during the current tax year -- would suggest that bringing in the same property tax revenue in FY 2012 would require an increase in the
tax rate due to declining assessments.
Board President Blaine Young commented, "While a major accomplishment of this board is that we presented a balanced budget with no tax increases, we still have work to do to reduce the structural deficit. What I continue to shout from Winchester Hall is that we cannot continue to spend more money than we receive in revenue unless our citizens want to pay more in taxes and
fees, something we are adamantly opposed to."
The board gave President Young authority to work with a budget review committee to make proposals to reduce the deficit, which were later approved by the board. Other than income tax revenue increases, most of the savings resulted from reorganizations or position eliminations, which are personnel decisions not meant for public sessions.
A copy of the Recommended Budget for FY 2012, estimated at $448 million, may be found at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/budgetpublications .
The public is invited to comment on the County’s budget at a hearing on April 5, at 6:00 p.m. at Catoctin High School, 14745 Sabillasville Road, Thurmont, Md. The hearing will be televised on FCG TV, cable channel 19, and webcast on www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/video.
For additional information, contact Budget Officer Michael Gastley at 301-600-1122 or via e-mail at mgastley@FrederickCountyMD.gov.
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