County Manager Discusses 2011 Budget Issues and Recommendations   

(Monticello) – County Manager David P. Fanslau discussed a memorandum that he sent to the Legislature, with members of the County Legislature this morning, related to 2011 Budget issues and recommendations.

The currently known expenses in 2011 will require some difficult decisions crafting the 2011 tentative budget.  There are a menu of recommendations to deal with the fiscal reality and continuing recession.

“While difficult budget decisions are not unexpected as a result of the recession, the County’s citizenry and property tax payers will not accept a property tax increase that results in the County Government increasing spending associated with the General Fund,” said Jonathan F. Rouis, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature.

“The continuing recession will require a great deal of interaction between the Legislature and the County Manager.  To accommodate the focus necessary, I will hold an additional monthly meeting, commencing in July to focus on the budget, said Jodi I. Goodman, Chair of the Management and Budget Committee.

“The Legislature is requesting that the County Manager and his staff review all available options, and to report back to the Legislature during the scheduled additional monthly Management and Budget Committee meetings that will be dedicated to the 2011 budget, for the next six months,” added Rouis.

“The “Great Recession” that the country and our region have been experiencing, continues to deteriorate the Sullivan County revenues, particularly sales tax revenues and mortgage tax revenues.  The 2010 year-to-date sales tax revenues are down 3.04% compared to the same period of 2009.  Moreover, the sales tax revenues realized in 2010 matches the same period as 2004, which had a rate ½% less than 2010.  Therefore, the sales tax revenue base is more comparable to 2001 levels. The mortgage tax revenues were anticipated at a rate more than fifty percent (50%) less than 2009.  The 2010 real property auction results were significantly down from 2009, causing a more than $800,000 revenue reduction. We have 2010 expenses relying upon 2001 revenues,” said Fanslau.
“There are a number of immediate administrative actions that I intend to implement, which should also receive the support of the County Legislature.  These initial actions will reduce the pressure placed upon the 2011 County budget, and will also relieve spending associated with the 2010 County budget,” said Fanslau.

Among the recommendations are: A moratorium on travel and lodging; freeze hiring, with minimal exceptions; complete the lean government value stream mapping to eliminate redundant and unnecessary processes; Comprehensive review and consolidation of Divisions and Departments; Freeze all Salaries; Require at least 15% contribution to health benefits premiums of all employees, regardless of the date of hire; prioritize core County Government Services, among other recommendations.

“There will be a goal of crafting the 2011 tentative budget without increasing spending associated with the County’s General Fund.  Therefore, the paradigm of how we have operated must change dramatically, and that must begin with the elimination of any unnecessary spending, such as travel and lodging,” concluded Fanslau.

For more information about this press release, please contact David Fanslau, County Manager, at 845-807-0450.

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