(3/16) Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today invited citizens to provide comments on budget requests regarding the Draft Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget, the Draft 2016-2021 Capital Improvements Program and the Draft Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Budget.
The executive will hold a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, in the first floor hearing room of Winchester Hall, located at 12 East Church Street, Frederick, Md., to hear input on budget requests.
Notice of the budget public hearing was published on March 14 in the Frederick News-Post, and related documents were published on the county website on the County Executive and Budget Office webpages.
Executive Gardner said, "At this point, I have not funded any budget appeals, because under Charter Government we must first invite our citizens to come to a public hearing to comment on the budget and the requests, also known as appeals, submitted by our division directors and agencies. Currently, the draft budget only funds mandated items such as maintenance of effort
for our school system. I welcome input from our citizens and look forward to getting their thoughts about the prioritization of county budget requests that range from the fire service, 911 emergency communications, public works, water and sewer, education, community college, citizens services, libraries, law enforcement and many other important areas.
"Frederick County Government is still dealing with a challenging financial situation. Since we held the first public hearing on the budget in December, we’re looking at a budget with an overall increase of less than one percent, so we will not be funding all these budget requests. The transition to Charter Government can be a little confusing, so we want to try to clarify
any concerns at this time and make sure everyone has access to the draft budget and draft appeal documents for review before the hearing."
According to the county’s new form of Charter Government, "During preparation of the budget, the Executive shall hold at least two public hearings to receive public comment. One hearing shall be held in December to receive proposals for inclusion in the budget. The other shall be held in March to receive comments on budget requests. The Executive shall provide sufficient
notice of the public hearings and shall cause to be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county notice of the date, time and place of each public hearing . . . The Executive shall prepare a draft budget and make it available to the public prior to the March hearing date."
After Executive Gardner holds the public hearing on the budget on March 23, she will submit a proposed budget by April 15 to the County Council. The council must hold at least one public hearing. After the hearing, the council will review the budget in accordance with section 506 of the County Charter.
The council must adopt the budget by May 25 or the proposed budget submitted by the County Executive shall become law.
The March 23 public hearing will be televised on FCG-TV, cable channel 19, and webcast on www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/video.
For more information, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/executive, www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/budget, or contact Interim Budget Director Michael Gastley at 301-600-1623 or via e-mail at mgastley@FrederickCountyMD.gov.