Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today released her budget requirements for the 2009 Dane County budget. These requirements detail the information and options County department heads must provide to the County Executive as she prepares that budget.
Falk noted that the requirements are different from last year’s because of the severe challenges in the 2009 budget. “The combination of a most severe winter and the worst economic slowdown in my service as County Executive means that the County is already facing rising costs and decreasing revenues. Some of these problems may well worsen for the rest of the year,” Falk said.
In a memorandum containing the requirement and directions to department heads and elected officials (attached), Falk discussed some of the fiscal pressures facing the County, ranging from the projected additional costs of about $1.7 million caused by the heavy snowfall to shortfalls of about $725,000 in the collection of sales tax and other fees. While the County is taking steps to address current budget issues, the County Executive stated that the decreased revenues and the increased demands on the public safety and human service systems which normally occur during an economic downturn will make for an extremely difficult 2009 budget.
Falk’s directions require all county department heads to make comprehensive analyses on:
-- Expenditures and revenues within their departments;
-- The number of positions with recommendations of positions to be considered for elimination (Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney, and 911 Center exempted);
-- A prioritized list of functions with clear distinctions of mandatory and desirable but discretionary programs;
-- The development of new or expanded revenue, especially in achieving energy conservation or reducing waste material; and
-- Recommendations by state or federal law for new services or programs.
These reports will be directed to Falk and the Department of Administration throughout the course of the summer under the normal timeframes for budget proposals.
“The County Board and I expect to receive lots of good options to reduce expenses and to add non-tax revenue to craft a good budget for next year -- one that maintains or improves public safety, human services, and conservation while controlling property taxes. These budget requirements will insure that we have the information to achieve those goals, Falk said.
The County Executive’s requirements apply to every County department. By law, the County Executive recommends the 2009 budget to the County Board by October 1st. The County Board acts upon the budget and it is sent to the County Executive for approval or veto. In recent years, this process has been completed before Thanksgiving.
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