From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will host a virtual town hall meeting on January 27 with multimedia options for citizens to provide input on the county budget for fiscal year 2016. This first-ever event for Harford County government will be streamed live beginning at 6:00 p.m. from Harford Community College’s new Darlington Hall.
“As my administration seeks to improve customer service through the use of technology, I am proud to host Harford County’s first annual virtual town hall meeting on the budget, with multiple opportunities for public comment through media ranging from Facebook and Twitter to tried-and-true phone calls and U.S. Mail,” Mr. Glassman said.
Opportunities for public input will include email and social media messages that may be sent before, during, and after the January 27 event, plus public comments from attendees and from callers to dedicated phone lines during the event. Citizens can also watch the event live on the county website.
The virtual town hall meeting will include a brief overview of the budget process and a review of public input received prior to the live event.
The county executive proposes a budget in April of each year to fund county government operations and capital programs for the July 1 start of the next fiscal year. The proposed budget is based on county revenue projections.
By law, the budget is subject to final approval by the Harford County Council. Once the county executive sets operating funding levels, the council may not add funding to any area of the budget except for funding of the public school system. Funding can be added for the schools, but only up to the amount requested by the school board, and only by taking those funds from elsewhere in the county budget.
The county budget also funds several outside agencies that depend, in full, or in part, on local funding for their operating and capital budgets. In addition to the school system, these agencies include the sheriff’s office, community college, public library and health department. Once local funding for these outside agencies is approved by the county council, budgeting decisions within each agency are determined by that agency’s leadership based on revenue from all sources.
County revenue is derived primarily from the local property and income taxes paid by county citizens.
Citizens are encouraged to provide input on the county budget prior to, and on January 27, using any of the following methods:
Mailing address: Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, 220 S. Main St., Bel Air, Md., 21014
On the evening of January 27, the following call-in number will be activated allowing citizens who are not in attendance to call and have their messages relayed to the county executive during and after the event: 443-412-2700.
Those who wish to view the hearing live on January 27 can do so by clicking on the following link: http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/iGovHarford/