Our ongoing analysis of agency functions and implementation of best practice policiesallow us to streamline and consolidate operations. Utilizing technology, we maintained core government services while reducing — without furloughs or firings — our government workforce to its smallest number in the past 25 years.In the three fiscal years since 2010, we have operated with a balanced budget while stillmaintaining our Triple AAA bond rating — a task accomplished by just 39 counties inthis country.To our employees, we have asked much of you. However, despite the challenging strainon our budget, we have worked hard to protect your health and pension benefits bystrengthening the Employee Retirement System. Unlike any other jurisdiction in thisState, we have lowered the actuarial rate, raised the funding status, and continued payment of our OPEB liability. As a result, your promised benefits will be there whenyou retire, and without being a burden to our taxpayers down the road.Through disciplined fiscal management, we continue to prioritize funding for our coretenets of
rebuilding of our aginginfrastructure
. At the same time, we are attracting millions in new business investmentthroughout the County, including exciting projects in Owings Mills, Towson and WhiteMarsh.This is now my 19
year as a County official — spanning the tenures of CountyExecutives Ruppersberger and Smith — and I can assure you, over these years, that both branches of government have been integral to our success. However, we must be ever vigilant in our continuing quest to streamline County operations, save taxpayer dollarsand generate economic growth. I’m here today to ask you to stay the course. It’s working.
Founding Father Benjamin Franklin wrote:Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industryand frugality, nothing will do; with them, everything.
Baltimore County’s proposed FY 14 budget does just that. We balance our dedication tofiscal responsibility with our commitment to ushering County government well into this21
century.The County's FY 14 General Fund Budget, subject to spending affordability, is $1.684 billion, an increase of just 2.94% above the previous year. While there is no cost of living
increase for employees, it does fund increments and longevity increases. Approximately26% of County employees receive these adjustments.As careful stewards of taxpayer dollars, we’ve worked diligently to again craft a budgetwith a bottom line that falls below the Council’s recommended spending affordabilityguidelines.2