(Bel Air, MD – October 29, 2008) – – In a dramatic move today, Harford County Executive David R. Craig announced reductions in the FY 09 budget for all county departments and independent agencies of the county. The budget reductions were made necessary due to a projected shortfall in the income tax, recordation taxes and transfer fees the county will receive.
“Today we are taking steps to insure county government lives within its means,” stated County Executive Craig. “Difficult fiscal times call for tough decisions, and we have acted responsibly to reduce spending in government in an effort to maintain a balanced budget,” Craig remarked.
Among the cost-saving measures implemented by the county executive include a reduction in the number of assigned take home cars for county employees; a freeze on hiring within Harford County Government; curtailing most travel and training for county employees and reducing the hours of operation for some government facilities to include the main administration building in Bel Air.
Additionally, the Board of Education, an independent agency, voted Monday evening to reduce their budget by $5.3 million – the largest single budget reduction of all entities. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Harford Community College and the Library also have taken steps to reduce their operating budgets in an effort to assist the county executive in meeting the overall goal of reducing the FY 09 budget.
Additionally, each of the 15 departments of county government has made cuts to their respective FY 09 budgets. These projected budget reductions totaling more than $2 million.
With respect to county offices and facilities operating under reduced hours, the County Administration Building will close at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday beginning November 3. Additionally, the Edgewood Senior Center will begin closing 6:00 p.m. next week as well.
The Department of Parks and Recreation will also be impacted by the budget reductions. For example, local Rec councils will now have to pay for custodial services for Parks and Rec programs in public schools. Furthermore, the department will not have monies to pay for snacks for after school and summer camp programs at the Edgewood Community Center. Finally, grounds and building maintenance “standards of care” will be reduced since overtime has been eliminated except for emergency situations.
“Although it is regretful the economy is not doing well, Harford County Government will continue to provide quality service to the citizens we serve despite these budget cuts,” County Executive Craig stated.
“We are in this together and will prepare to meet the challenges which lie ahead as the economy dictates,” Craig stated.
Doris Blake DeLizia says
Harford County Government must have more money than they admit. After being under a school moritorium for over six (6) years, my brothers and I requested an Administrative Hearing with HC. To no avail. We have not been able to develop our farm located on Red Pump Road (within the development envelope) and we are waiting for the Red Pump School to be built. We are going to build a pumping station (Bear Cabin Branch Pumping Station) on our property to aleviate the three existing, failing pumping stations. We hoped HC government would grant us a waiver from the moritorium so that we could proceed to build the pumping station which would save HC $500,000 to $1,000,000 for the private septic system for the Red Pump Elementary School and also the cost of abandoning the system once they hook up to the newly built pumping station. We were told the law is the law. Why wouldn’t they want to work with us instead of throwing away this large amount of money?
Havre de Grace also has a shortfall. In common with the county’s shortfall is one reason …the down town parking “stop work order” by Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty. This stop work order on his own project was designed to stop imminent criticism of Wayne who could care less about safety or down town business’s. The ramifications were already known as to the affect on parking, yet Dougherty acted as if it was news to him. This cost the county a bunch of cash (those laid off pay attention) along with a full 20% of Havre de Graces 500,000 shortfall. This is abusive and irresponsible use of his powers as Mayor !
To date, now that the yelling has stopped, no plan to provide a solution to the parking problem has been found. Truth is that Dougherty had no intentions of finding a solution to the problem and knew of it from the start…just didn’t care. Of special note is that he cited safety as the main reason in the lawsuit.
The parking is lost forever, according to plans…wont be back ever…he should have simply stated that simple truth and not pissed the citizens money away. Oh…and not lied to them.
This has been a trend throughout his administration.
Go Dagger !
Parking……Does anyone have a solution to the downtown parking problem? There was a parking problem when I was a kid . Same thing when my father was a kid. The only person who has an answer to parking space is Amanda of Amandas Flowers who has her own safety cone to “Reserve” her private parking space (s) on Pennington Av. Everyone complains about parking but, no one comes up with a plan.
The mayor does what he can but, there is only so many places to park.