The entire Fiscal Year 2016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget document is available online at the County’s webpage, www.inyocounty.us, offering the public an opportunity to review the proposed $95,978,087 spending plan coming up for possible adoption next week.
Publication of the Budget comes as the result of many weeks of analysis, calculation, research, meetings, planning, writing, and review by staff Countywide.
The Recommended Budget details the revenue and expenditures being proposed for each of the County’s 19 departments, and 136 budget units, for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, which runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.
The Recommended Budget will be considered by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors when the County’s Budget Hearings commence at 1 p.m. during the Board’s regular Tuesday, September 6, 2016 meeting in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, in Independence.
By State law, County Budget Hearings may extend for 10 consecutive days, and the County has until October 2, 2016, to adopt its final budget for the year.
“Adoption of the County Budget is arguably the most important action the Board of Supervisors takes each year,” said County Administrator Kevin Carunchio. “The Budget is the County’s spending plan and, as such, sets Inyo County’s service and program priorities for the coming year. It tells what the County intends to spend the taxpayers’ money on – and more to the point, how and why. If citizens want to know what’s happening in the County or, more importantly, influence its priorities, there’s no better time to get involved in local government than during the budget process. I encourage all residents and business owners to review the Recommended Budget, and consider coming to the Budget Hearings.”
For those looking for lighter reading, also available on the County’s webpage is the Introduction & Summary of the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget. The Introduction & Summary, or Budget Message, looks at the “big-picture” fiscal challenges and opportunities faced by the County this fiscal year.
According to Carunchio, it is here where taxpayers will find discussion of the why’s and how’s of requested expenditures, and whether department requests have made it to the CAO Recommended Budget unchanged, with modifications, or not at all; the differences between the Department Requested Budget and the CAO Recommended Budget are highlighted in detail.
The Introduction & Summary also highlights for the Board and County departments which funding sources are stable, which can be relied on less and less given current trends and future projections, and which State and Federal funding sources are rapidly dwindling to the point that their intended purposes are close to becoming unfunded mandates, Carunchio said.
It includes concise information about the county’s income (from taxes, fees, and other sources) and a breakdown of expenses by function (i.e. Public Safety, Roads, Public Assistance, Public Health, General Services, etc.). For those new to the Budget process, the Introduction & Summary offers this information in easy-to-understand language.
Carunchio noted the Budget Message contains both the good and the not-so-good aspects of the County’s budget situation, and discusses challenges and opportunities facing the County in this and coming fiscal years. For example, it notes the continuing hard work of many Department Heads to reduce expenses, the ongoing successes of Service Redesign, and exciting projects that can be realized this fiscal year.
The Budget Message also acknowledges the hard work that went into crafting the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget. In the document, Carunchio offers his thanks and praise to every County Department but in particular to Budget Analyst Denelle Carrington and Auditor-Controller Amy Shepherd, who he said put in many long hours providing information, input, and expertise to help ensure the County has a balanced and forward-thinking spending plan.
A hard copy of the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 CAO Recommended Budget is available in the Board Clerk’s Office at the County Administrative Center in Independence, 224 N. Edwards St.