At its Oct. 19, 2011 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners adjusted its proposed 2012-2013 budget to eliminate $26,230 in annual dues to the Michigan Association of Counties, and transfer those funds to the Delonis Center, a homeless shelter at 312 W. Huron. Commissioner Yousef Rabhi (D-District 11) made the motion, saying that budget priorities for him are human services, especially the lines items for coordinated funding and the homeless shelter.
Earlier in the meeting, more than two dozen people spoke during public commentary to advocate for a variety of nonprofits that are funded by the county. The 2012-2013 proposed budget calls for $1.2 million in cuts to outside agencies, including several nonprofit groups. [.pdf list of all proposed 2012-2013 outside agency funding] Many supporters spoke on behalf of the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV), which faces a cut from $500,000 in 2011 to $250,000 in 2012-2013. Prior to the meeting, several HSHV supporters picketed in the rain in front of the county administration building, many of them with dogs. Advocates for HSHV had also turned out for an Oct. 13 working session, when commissioners discussed funding for outside agencies.
Final decisions about these and other items in the budget haven’t yet been settled. The board must pass a budget by the end of the year, but has only three more regular meetings scheduled for the year. The budget must first be voted on by the Ways & Means Committee – a committee of the whole board – then voted on a final time at a regular board meeting.
This brief was filed from the boardroom at the county administration building, 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow.