All About The County Budget

We’re just getting geared up for the annual county budget process. It’s spread out over six months and involves a lot of people (including several opportunities for citizens to make their voices heard).

It’s one of the most important jobs we have. The county employs about 500 people, full-time and part-time, and has an annual budget of more than 100 million dollars. (We don’t spend all of that each year. Some of it is carryover for the following year, reserves, and contingency funds, but we do spend a lot.)

With the exception of the Road Department, which purchases a lot of equipment and materials, most of our programs spend about 80 percent of their funds on people—people who are delivering services to you.
Some of those are front-line folks who patrol our communities, deliver care in our health clinics, drive our buses, collect your taxes, count your votes and maintain our roads. Some are behind the scenes folks who do things like keeping our computer and phone systems running so the front line people can do their jobs more efficiently.

We publish the proposed budget online about two weeks before the first public meeting our budget committee, which consists of the commissioners and three citizen representatives. We hold public hearings all around the county to present the significant features of the budget and to allow the public’s voice to be heard in our decisions.
When I first ran for office 16 years ago, I had already gotten to know a lot of people working for the county very well. What continually pleases and makes me resolve to do my job better is their skill, passion and commitment to service.
Robert Kennedy said it best when he called public service “an honorable profession.” Here’s my continued pledge to you to continue to uphold that.

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