County Board Sets 2nd Budget Hearing

A second public hearing to get input on the 2014-2017 budget for Washtenaw County was scheduled by the county board of commissioners at its Nov. 6, 2013 meeting. The hearing will be held on Nov. 20, and follows a previous hearing on Oct. 16, 2013. No one spoke at that hearing, which was held after midnight as part of a meeting that lasted over six hours.

County administrator Verna McDaniel and her finance staff had presented the budget on Oct. 2, 2013. The board gave initial approval to the budget on Nov. 6, with some amendments, on a 7-2 vote over the dissent of Dan Smith (R-District 2) and Ronnie Peterson (D-District 6).

The $103,005,127 million budget for 2014 – which represents a slight decrease from the 2013 expenditures of $103,218,903 – includes putting a net total of 8.47 full-time-equivalent jobs on “hold vacant” status, as well as the net reduction of a 0.3 FTE position. The recommended budgets for the following years are $103,977,306 in 2015, $105,052,579 in 2016, and $106,590,681 in 2017. The budgets are based on an estimated 1% annual increase in property tax revenues. [.pdf of draft budget summary]

Also on Nov. 6, the board scheduled a second public hearing to be held on Jan. 8, 2014 for a proposed ordinance that would allow the county to issue municipal civil infractions for owning an unlicensed dog. The proposal would also establish that the county treasurer’s office would be the bureau for administering these infractions, and would set new licensing fees. [.pdf of dog license ordinance] [.pdf of staff memo and resolution]

The first public hearing on this proposal, also held on Oct. 16 after midnight, did not draw any speakers.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor, where the board of commissioners holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]