From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will host a virtual town hall meeting in January for citizens to provide input on the next county budget. The virtual meeting format expands opportunities for public engagement by providing for in-person testimony along with multimedia options available now, up to, and including the meeting planned for Thursday, January 24, 2019. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Darlington Hall, room 202, on the campus of Harford Community College in Bel Air. The event will also stream live on the county website.
“I know that families are busy in the evening and it’s not always practical to go out to a public meeting,” County Executive Glassman said. “Our award-winning virtual town hall format lets citizens share their county budget priorities when it’s convenient for them, and hear what others have to say, all without leaving home. We also welcome attendees to the live event. Our goal is an efficient and transparent process that makes it easy to get involved.”
Citizens are welcome to send in their budget priorities for the county’s fiscal year 2020 budget via social media, email, or U.S. Mail, some of which will be read aloud during the live meeting. The meeting will also include live testimony from attendees and relayed messages from callers to a dedicated phone line.
Contact information is as follows:
Facebook: Harford County’s Virtual Town Hall
U.S. Mail: Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, 220 S. Main St., Bel Air, Md. 21014
Phone: 443-412-2700 (dedicated phone line activated only during the live event)
At 6 p.m. on January 24, citizens can also watch the live event from the county Web page www.harfordcountymd.gov/VirtualTownHall.
The virtual town hall meeting will begin with a brief review of the budget process.
By law, the county executive proposes a budget each April to fund county operations and capital programs for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1st. The county executive’s recommended budget, which is based on revenue projections, 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 the public school system. If the council adds funding for the schools, it can only add up to the amount requested by the school board, and only by taking those funds from another area of the county budget or by raising revenue.
The primary source of county revenue is local property and income taxes paid by county citizens. Over the past four years of the Glassman administration, 96% of new, ongoing revenue from these sources has been dedicated to public safety and education. Historically, the portion of all general fund revenue dedicated to Harford County Public Schools has averaged 50%.
In addition to the public school system, several other outside agencies depend, in full or in part, on county funding for their operating and capital budgets. These agencies include the sheriff’s office, community college, public library and health department. It is important to note that once county funding for 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.
For more information about the county budget, please visit: