It is budget time for county and town governments. Officials have until June 30 to set their fiscal plans for the next 12 months.
The only sure thing about this process is that whatever budget is passed, many people will be upset.
This annual fact of budgeting is most evident at the county level where various factions are vying for more financial consideration after viewing the Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposed by County Executive Dr. Alan McCarthy.
Groups are already expressing concern and outrage that their budgets were not fully funded. Then there are the individuals who lament that the county and towns, state and federal governments collect any tax money from them!
Few, if any, get their budgetary wishes honored in any budget. Rest assured, even with the lean budgets that have been passed in recent years, those requesting spending have all placed some monetary wiggle room in their requests.
For the Mayors and their Councils or Commissions and for the County Executive and the County Council, budget time is always a losing proposition in the court of public opinion.
Every person counting on taxpayer funding believes their portion of the budget is the most important. This week, the Cecil County Board of Education was quite vocal in their opposition to cuts in their proposed budget. One of their arguments is that the county has many students qualifying for free and reduced meals which indicates a need for more money for more services. This becomes a Catch 22. If there is such poverty among local families, how can these taxpaying families absorb higher taxes for more school funding?
There are no easy answers when it comes to handling budget requests. We can just ask departments and agencies funded through taxpayer dollars to make due with what fiscal resources they obtain, just as local families learn to make due with their resources.
The budget process is a time when people need to realize how important it is to keep their money close to home by shopping in local businesses to make sure those dollars circulate and recirculate within Cecil County. Always remember to Shop Locally!
Global Media Exec
Will Speak At UD
The University of Delaware’s 169th Commencement ceremony on May 26 will feature Steve Mosko, who served as chairman of Sony Pictures Television.
A graduate of UD’s class of 1978, Mosko worked his way through college and then negotiated his career to an international media position. It is expected he will share his perspective on being a strategic leader who encouraged innovation and bold action.
Graduating with a degree in communications, Mosko got jobs in radio and then television in Baltimore. He then moved to Philadelphia. Mosko joined Sony in 1992 and was named president of Sony Pictures Television in 2000. During his tenure a number of popular shows were produced, including “Breaking Bad,” The Blacklist,” Better Call Saul” and “Shark Tank.” He left Sony in 2016 and is now working on a new venture with Jeff Robinov, former president of Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group.
What Did The State
The 2018 Session of the Maryland General Assembly saw 3,127 bills filed. Of those, 890 bills were passed and more than 140 have already been signed into law. Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy said it appears that the county will not be adversely impacted by the new laws. Dr. McCarthy noted that some bills proposed that would have passed more state expenses to the local governments were defeated.
“In the past, over six million dollars in funding were provided from gas tax revenues to assist the County in the upkeep of County-maintained roads,” McCarthy reported. “During the 2008 recession, that funding was drastically reduced, but now will gradually be restored.”
Several local issues were sent to Annapolis for approval. Adjustments to regulations regarding Sheriff’s Department collective bargaining were passed as was a mandate that more employees working in bars have to be taught alcohol awareness.
McCarthy added that a piece of legislation that will offer a tax credit provision for those businesses offering employee healthcare benefits was also passed at the end of the legislative session.
Hear How Local Legislators
View The Recent Session
Cecil County’s delegation to Annapolis has been invited to talk about the recent state legislative session on April 23 at a Legislative Wrap-up Networking Breakfast from 8: 30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Cecil College’s North East campus in the Technology Center, room 208. Admission is $25. Invited guests are Senators Linda Norman and Stephen Hershey, as well as Delegates Kevin Hornberger, Andrew Cassilly, Teresa Reilly, Steven Arents, Jeff Ghrist and Jay Jacobs. The event is being sponsored by the Cecil County Board of Realtors and the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce. Register for the breakfast by going to the Chamber’s website.
Roundtable Is May 7
Bring your lunch and join in a free informational meeting at the county Chamber of Commerce’s office on May 7 at 11 a.m. This meeting is geared toward direct sales and network marketing professionals. The roundtable meeting will discuss topics that include: best practices, identifying resources, valuable training, creating partnerships and promotional opportunities, how to address issues and comparing event calendars.
New Event Venue Will
Host Card Exchange
The Gardens at Bethlehem Farms, located at 99 Slicers Mill Road in Rising Sun, is a seventh-generation working farm. They are opening their farm to host events and will showcase the new enterprise during a Chamber Card Exchange on June 14 at 4:30 p.m. T&M Catering is providing refreshments. This event is free for Chamber members and $10 for non-members. There will be a ribbon-cutting at 5:30 p.m.
Upcoming Budget Hearing
The Cecil County Council continues their hearings on the County Executives proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
On Tuesday, April 24, the budget hearing begins at 5:30 p.m. with Community Services, Transit, Housing, Animal Control and Department of Public Works (non-enterprise funds) being considered.
The County Council hearings at held in the Elk Room at the county’s administration building.