From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig has announced the proposed FY 2014 Operating and Capital Budget for Harford County. The proposed budget reflects a modest increase of approximately $6 million or approximately 1.31% over the FY 2013 budget.
“In preparing the FY 2014 budget, we have combined prudent budgeting and finance with strategic planning to help keep Harford County finances healthy as we continue to deal with fiscal problems of the state and federal government,” County Executive Craig said. “A number of revenue sources have been adversely affected over the past several years from factors outside the control of my Administration,” Craig said.
Notable aspects of the proposed FY 2014 budget are:
– No increase in taxes
– No wage or salary enhancements for county employees, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, or Harford County Public Library.
– Funding for the Board of Education is $1,952,485 above Maintenance of Effort. Furthermore, an additional $1.5 million in funding to help cover the costs of teacher pensions.
– Funding for new/replacement schools for Youth’s Benefit Elementary, Havre de Grace High School and major systemic projects for Joppatowne High School.
– Funding to support 10 new Correctional Officers for one-half year for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, assigned to the Detention Center.
– Funding of $9,422,456 for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association to support the needs of the fire and EMS system.
The proposed FY 2014 Operating and Capital budget reflects the Administration’s practical and fiscally responsible approach to managing the annual budget. The Administration has worked hard to balance the competing needs of the county with wants. The proposed FY 2014 budget also contrasts the leadership of County Executive David R. Craig with those in Annapolis who have consistently raised taxes which has a detrimental impact on working families, business and industry and the economy.
Commenting on the economy, County Executive Craig said, “In a time where Maryland families have been saddled with over 34 additional taxes and fees from the State, Harford County has sought to lessen those impacts here at home by holding the line on taxes.”
“Over the past three years local governments have had to endure repeated efforts by the leadership in Annapolis to pass their fiscal problems down to the counties. Forcing teacher pensions on county governments, cutting highway user funds, and cutting State aid to local government among other initiatives does not solve the state’s tax and spend problem it just rearranges the issues,” County Executive Craig said.
“Making prudent budgetary decisions, working hard to limit increasing costs of government and more effectively and efficiently managing our projects and priorities, we continue to work hard at those things which helped us obtain and maintain a Aaa bond rating,” Craig remarked.
C. David Copenhaver says
Budget is great news for YBES, HGHS, and JHS … BUT what about William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School?????
closer look says
William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School is certainly in need of major renovation or total replacement. Even though there are those that are sympathetic to their school the problem is their school community is not organized and has shown no real effort to make their case before the school board, the County Executive, the members of the County Council that represent their area, or their representatives in the State delegation. Until they get motivated to act on their own behalf such as the YBES, HDGHS, and Homstead/Wakefield ES communities little is likely to happen for their school.
closer look says
Actually there is no money for YBES, HGHS or JHS. The HGHS and JHS projects were turned down for funding by the State and the Superintendent Tomback pulled the funding request for YBES. The County Executive still shows them in his capital budget but no money will be spent because the County Council will no longer forward fund school building projects. Without significant State funding contributions these projects will not happen.
Closer look has it right, and it should be noted that Harford’s delegation to Annapolis is so ineffective and discordant that there is little chance of getting the state to fund those schools. We get very little from this delegation, yet they get their $40,000 plus each year. Pathetic.
ALEX R says
But didn’t Mary-Dulany James get a lot of money restored for schools? I was sure her office issued a press release saying she negotiated an additional million or something like that.
closer look says
The State cut 4 million from what had been given to Harford County the previous year. Delegate James was able to recover about 1 million of that. One million is better than nothing but still leaves a 3 million dollar shortfall.
You forgot an important step there. The State cut Harford’s education allocation $4 million. Sen. Glassman and the state senate restored $2 million of that loss. Del. James and the House wanted it put back to a $4 million cut. They compromised on a $3 million cut, and Del. James incredibly tried to take credit for restoring $1 million.
Its hard to be effective in a legislature when your party is unable to mount a filibuster.
Carol Webster says
Please clarify for me. Didn’t Harford County employees receive a 4% raise in the fall retroactive to July 1? If this is a true statement, the county employees already received a pay increase. The teachers and school employees were not included in this 4% increase. Thanks for clarification.
It was a raise but not all employees were eligible
Mommie Dearest says
Carol: I received a 4% raise and I am getting an increase of $4.86 per paycheck because all the other deductions have gone up. I am grateful though, because without the raise, I would be at serious loss rather than a slight gain in take home pay.
Luther Lingus says
That hit us all this year!
For people that receive no raise – they take home less than they did last year.
Thank Odumbo for that – Mr. Tax and spend.
closer look says
You are correct.
the budget has money designated for schools, but they don’t plan on spending the $$$ because the state hasn’t come up with their share of the cost and the county shouldn’t forward fund any school projects. The $$ should instead either be refunded to the taxpayer by way of a tax rate reduction or fund the proposed increase in impervious surfaces tax.
What about the money school were going to get from slots? Why fund havre de grace when the enrollment projects were around 500?
Because Mr. Craig wants it.
Ha, you actually thought slots were going to bring in more money for schools?
The Democrats only said that slot money would go towards schools, they never said it would be in addition to current funding levels. They reduced the funding from regular tax revenues to balance the increased revenues from slots.
concerned citizen says
I am disappointed once again with the priorities set by David Craig. I appreciate that taxes will not increase but funding for education is once again flat funded despite an increase in county revenue. The amount of money above maintenance of effort does not mean that he increased his budget. It means that the enrollment of students has shown a decrease. However, the cost of doing business has increased. This will have a detrimental effect on education in Harford County as there will be a mass layoff of teaching positions. Last year there was about 56 positions eliminated due to flat funding. This year it is predicted that about 150 to 200 positions will be eliminated. Principals will have a hard time trying to figure out which positions to cut and how they will keep classroom sizes down. Educational programs will be at risk and citizens with children in school will be too late to do anything about it.
I have heard many people talk about how David Craig was once an educator and that his priorities would focus on education. Reality is about to hit this year. I hope all the communities speak up and think long and hard about who our next County Executive should be. I hope it is someone who will work with HCPS and the County Council to do what is best for all.
Could the “flat funding” be due to the shift in costs from the state to the county? Pension costs dumped on the county total $8 million and $10 million next year because the single party (Democrats) that runs Maryland deferred paying for pensions, so they could spend elsewhere, and then sent the bill to the counties when the gap became too large to ignore.
The budget problems were not created by Mr. Craig, rather Martin O’Malley and the MD Democratic Party are the issue. The people of Harford County sent a pile of money to Annapolis and get a trifle back.
concerned citizen says
Actually no. The flat funding is not due to the shift in pension costs. When will everyone learn that Mr. Craig says what he needs to say to do what he wants. He has his own vision of what the county should look like and does not take all citizens concerns into consideration. Harford County lost money from the state because they see what Mr. Craig is doing…not funding the school system. When our revenue grows but he chooses to give zero of that to the school system why should the state continue to help us out? Mr. Craig is not honest about the facts he gives to our citizens.
We lost money because we did not vote for O’Malley in 2010, and we’re unlikely to vote for him in 2014 or 2016.
Elections have consequences.
Not totally. Education funding from the state is also based in the contrabution from the local districts. Since Craig won’t increase county funding, the state will not either. He sees MOE as a ceiling to funding. He has been using the pension funding as a scare tactic, and always neglected to talk about the state subsidies to that funding. Wake up people, more Craig spin as he preps his run for hire office-and a fatter public paycheck…
I figured we would not vote for him in 2014 since he is not running!!!! Term Limits!
Mikulski vacating her seat early could either give O’Malley a chance to run in a special election, or could happen after Nov 2014 so he could be appointed by lameduck Lt Gov Brown (assuming O’Malley greases his palm enough, and doesn’t piss him off by backing a different candidate), putting him in the Senate for a 2016 Presidential run.
I don’t think Babs is likely to vacate her seat for him.
I Wish I Was A Fed says
Babs is going to vacate her seat about as much as McConnell is going to give up his.
The entrenched power brokers don’t need to do anything for a lowly governor.
Actually the pension raid began with Ehrlich. MOE does not allow for the pension burden to be calculated in to the formula.
Even before that. The state has been using the various pension funds like the Fed has used Social Security. Just ask Fire Fighters and Police officers about what has happened to thier pensions controlled by the state.
Like how our pension contributions have nearly doubled in the past couple years, but the extra “contribution” doesn’t even go to the pension fund. It goes to the MD general fund to be used on whatever the hell they feel like using it on.
I don’t necessarily have a problem with our contribution going up. Having a defined pension is pretty rare today (and a good benefit) and even with the increase I don’t think what we pay for it is too high. I do have a big a problem that a large portion of the money that gets pulled out of my paycheck every two weeks doesn’t even go into the pension fund so that in 20 years the state can say “The pension fund is bankrupt” and try to get out of their obligation because they’ve been raiding it all along.
I Wish I Was A Fed says
It is becoming a ponzi scheme at all levels. Creative accounting is an accepted practice from the Federal budget to the States’ budgets. Local governments have started delving into this territory as well. Much of this shifting of funds is predicated on future bailouts as financed by borrowed(read..printed) money from the Treasury laundered through the stock market by way of quantitative easing applied by the reserve.
As long as the US is the only stable game in town we can keep doing this but sooner or later the house of cards will fall.
How long until Germany tells Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland to go pound sand?
How long until another country(Germany?) regains their own economic soundness and they can tell the US to go pound sand?
Bottom line: your federal and state(federally bailed out) pensions are viable for now
The Maryland State system has not been federally bailed out and I do not call the state paying back money it borrowed a bailout as much as repayment.
Don’t forget being able to fund the materials and training for the new Core Curriculum. Maybe when the kids are in classes of 35-40, not making the cut on the new tests, and have lost te support programs to help their kids, the community might realize the teachers begging for full funding isn’t about ‘Greedy Teachers’
Carol Webster says
The school system needs to clean house. For example, the current “acting principal” at Norrisville Elementary was removed from his position of assistant principal at Fountain Green Elementary due to charges placed against him by parents of a student. He was hidden in the Human Resources Dept. and is now a “Principal”. Are you kidding me? Also, we have the inept former principal of John Archer School in a higher paying position at Central Office, Special Education Department. Both of these individuals should be off the payroll. In addition, Central Office is jammed with people that could do more work, just like they expect classroom teachers to do on a daily basis. I agree with Harford County Council to clean out the waste. It is time for the Instructional Facilitators, that help principals with observations and inservices, to be eliminated. These individuals spend more time shopping online, doing personal business, and eating lunch with the principal. This is not a cost effective expenditure. Instead of Teacher Mentors, provide additional monies to veteran, successful teachers to mentor new teachers. We don’t have a high volume of new teachers to mentor. Let’s work to be a leaner, more efficient school system.
Really? We have a high volume of new teachers that need mentoring. Look at the personel report……When a school of 700 kids is getting 9-10 new teachers a year.
Then maybe our current hiring standards are too lax? In today’s economy, the employer can afford to be very picky on which candidates they select.
It is not about the quality of the hire. Mentor support was made part of COMAR to reduce the high rate of turnover caused by young teachers leaving the profession.
Yes! Finally someone writes about %spinfile-E:\Users\Administrator\Dropbox\GSA\Mega Keyword List.txt.