The County Executive transmitted his Recommended FY12 Operating Budget to the County Council on March 15. The proposed budget contains cost-cutting measures that will be difficult for residents and employees in the short term, but I am pleased that it includes a balanced long-term fiscal plan. I commend the County Executive and his team for their hard work in developing the proposal. Last year, I spearheaded a new approach to budgeting that requires a balanced six-year fiscal plan, and I'm gratified to see a continued long-term perspective in our budget work. I have asked our Office of Legislative Oversight to look at the plan, particularly in terms of its progress toward resolving our structural deficit.
I encourage you to engage in the conversation about the hard decisions we will make in the coming months. As I have said many times before, I remain committed to fairness and equity among stakeholders and will work to make sure no one group shoulders a disproportionate burden.
You can let us know your thoughts on the County budget at one of five public hearings spread over April 5-7. The public hearings will be held at 7 p.m. on April 5; at 1:30 and 7 p.m. on April 6; and at 1:30 and 7 p.m. on April 7. All hearings will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building. To register to speak, call 240-777-7803.
If you can't make the public hearings, you can still let us know your views by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our six committees and the full Council will analyze the recommendations over the next two months and will adopt the FY12 budget in late May. The budget will take effect on July 1.
Tune in to Montgomery Municipal Cable (channel 16) at 7:30 on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday during the weeks of April 18 and May 2. I will discuss my thoughts on the budget in further detail on Inside Out with Pat Smith.