A searchable version of the entire Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Inyo County CAO Recommended Budget document is now available online at the County’s webpage at https://www.inyocounty.us/services/county-administrators-office/county-budget-analysis.
The document’s publication presents an opportunity for the public to review the proposed $130,080,924 spending plan, which will be brought before the Board of Supervisors for adoption later this month.
Budget Hearings are scheduled to commence at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, September 20, and will continue as necessary for consideration of adoption of the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 County Budget. Publication of the budget was made possible by many weeks of analysis, calculation, research, meetings, planning, writing, and review by staff countywide. Completion of the budget was due in particular to the painstaking efforts of the Inyo County Budget Team consisting of Auditor-Controller Amy Shepherd, Senior Budget Analyst Denelle Carrington, and County Administrator Leslie Chapman, with assistance from Administration staff.
“As always, this process reminds us that we have an extraordinary team that is dedicated to
responsible leadership as they strive to achieve the best results for our citizens and visitors,” Chapman writes in the budget’s introduction. “My most sincere thanks to all.”
The team effort behind the FY 2022-2023 Budget will be part of a fond farewell for Chapman, who retires September 28 after 20 years in the fiscal and administrative divisions of government in Inyo and Mono counties. Chapman said she is pleased to be able to leave Inyo County in a good financial position, with a balanced budget that meets critical needs and strives to continue important projects – and that will also serve as a map for navigating through fiscal twists and turns.
“The Fiscal Year 2022-2023 CAO Recommended Budget has been prepared with an eye towards the future by considering options for infrastructure improvement, economic development and related housing needs, and adding key staff to improve county facilities including parks and campgrounds,” Chapman writes. “This Budget provides for operational needs of the County by evaluating the requests of all County departments and balancing those against available and appropriate revenue streams.”
The Recommended Budget written and presented by Chapman details the anticipated revenue and proposed expenditures for each of the County’s 19 departments and 130-plus budget units for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year, which runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. (On June 14, the Board of Supervisors adopted a modified version of the 2021-2022 Board Approved Budget to serve as the Preliminary 2022-2023 Fiscal Year Budget until a final version could be presented and approved this fall.)
Chapman’s 18-page Budget Message offers a comprehensive breakdown of the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 CAO Recommended Budget, within the context of the “big-picture” fiscal challenges and opportunities that can arise this fiscal year. In the message, Chapman describes the budget as a story of fiscal conservatism leading to financial resiliency – as has been achieved the last several fiscal years and which will need to continue happening if the County is to weather coming economic storms.
“As experience has demonstrated time and again, the issue is not whether there will be another
recession, but rather predicting when the next recession will hit. Even though the economic outlook is better than expected, we remain cautious as we continue to strive for fiscal resiliency by making a conscience effort to match recurring revenues and expenditures and using one-time income for capital and other one-time investments,” Chapman writes. Looking to the future, she noted that, “(i)t will take discipline and vision to choose projects that enhance County infrastructure while maintaining the fiscal restraint that will provide resiliency for times where resources decline.
Like the annual budget, it is a balancing act.” The Budget Message describes several exciting projects and initiatives and their intended benefits in greater detail, as well as discussion of the why’s and how’s of requested expenditures and highlights the differences between the Department Requested Budget and the CAO Recommended Budget are highlighted in detail.
The Budget Message also includes concise information about the County’s income (from taxes, fees, and other sources), a breakdown of expenses by function (i.e., Public Safety, Roads, Public Assistance, Public Health, General Services, etc.), and notes the continuing hard work of many Department Heads to reduce expenses and make the most of available revenue sources.
The public is encouraged to take part in the upcoming Budget Hearings. This hearing is accessible to the public both in person and via Zoom webinar: https://zoom.us/j/868254781. The meeting may also be accessed by telephone at the following numbers: (669)900-6833; (346) 248-7799; (253) 215-8782; (929) 205-6099; (301) 715-8592; (312) 626-6799. Webinar ID: 868254 781.
Anyone unable to attend the hearing in person who wishes to comment on the proposed budget prior to the meeting, or as the item is being heard, may do so either in writing or by utilizing the Zoom “hand-raising” feature when appropriate during the meeting (the Chair will call on those who wish to speak). Generally, speakers are limited to three minutes. Written public comment, limited to 250 words or less, may be emailed to the Assistant Clerk of the Board at [email protected]. Written comments may or may not be read aloud, but all comments will be made a part of the record.
In addition to being posted online, the proposed budget documents are available for public review at the Clerk of the Board’s Office, 224 N. Edwards St., Independence, during business hours.
For more information, contact the Assistant Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, P.O. Drawer N,
Independence, CA 93526, [email protected], and (760) 878-0373.