Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Hunterdon County Budget

     On Tuesday, the Board of Chosen Freeholders will be introducing our 2012 budget.  The budget, when taken together with the Library budget will reduce taxes by $1.4 million and reduce spending by $1.9 million dollars.  Since peaking at $99.4 million in 2007, the 2012 County operating budget will be at $88.6 million, the lowest since 2005.  This is a remarkable achievement for which the credit belongs to our Finance team, our Administration, our Labor negotiation team, my colleagues on the Board and mostly to our 500 plus employees who bear the brunt of our choices.
     Critical areas of government are appropriately funded and vital capital needs are met.  As with any budget that cuts spending in some areas, there will critics who lament the loss in funding.  Such is the nature of make hard choices in a down economy. 
     This budget represents many difficult cuts but more importantly embodies many more responsible reforms.  Senior staff has been reorganized, departments with retiring department heads have been moved under other departments reducing upper management, and other functions have been consolidated.  We have made important improvements to how we deliver public health nursing services, how the county gets legal services and, using a shared service and better management, we are improving the delivery of health division services.
     Lower taxes, lower spending, real reforms; a responsible budget for our 130,000 hard working taxpayers and residents.  This is the budget we will introduce and hopefully pass so we can continue to meet the needs of this the best County in our Country.