We have always walked a fine line between delivering as many services as possible and living within our means at the county level. In 2009 and 2010, we saw our general fund revenues drop by 18 percent, and as a result, we were forced to cut our workforce by 15 percent. Unlike the federal government, we can’t deficit spend (and I would never want us to do that). We balance our budget every year.
Our cuts during the recession would have gone far deeper if we hadn’t built up a healthy rainy-day fund. We have spent the years since then rebuilding our reserves while selectively investing in capital needs and new positions. We’ve had two priorities in adding staff: public safety and internal support operations like IT that allow the entire organization to better serve the public.
We have supported worker safety programs, energy audits, and a host of other steps to help us control insurance and other operating costs. We receive strong yearly audit reports, have a very low debt level, and enjoy excellent bond ratings. None of this is the stuff of headlines but it helps insure that we get the most out of every tax dollar.