I recently gave a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners regarding
the 2014 budget process. This afternoon, we will begin departmental hearings
with commissioners to provide information about our services, how we impact
citizens’ lives and the resources needed to deliver those services.
We are in the early stages of budget development, and if we do everything that is requested in addition to our existing services, we would be facing a $5.7 million deficit for 2014. The commission has established a goal for us to maintain financial integrity, so we will need to determine how we use our resources and where we may reduce the level of services in some areas. The budget hearings provide us an opportunity to present information to the commissioners and to gather their feedback. Then, over the next two months, I will work with the budget team to create a recommended budget to present to the commission in July.
I believe our community’s economic condition is slowly improving. But, the revenues (that fund services that citizens expect) are flat or growing very slowly. That creates an imbalance when the cost of doing business increases. It requires us to be even more innovative and collaborative across the organization – and it makes us better.
I encourage you to follow the 2014 budget process as we move to adoption on August 7. The county website will include not only video of the departmental budget hearings, but also the recommended budget (in July) and any presentations at commission meetings. These are always challenging times. But, while we have made difficult decisions in the past to change the level of service we can provide, we have continued to focus on the delivery of “quality” public services. This is important. I believe our values and customer service guiding principles help us to maintain this focus, and it requires our commitment, dedication and professionalism. Thank you for making this a priority. If you have any questions about the 2014 budget process, please contact your supervisor or department head. I will share more information as we move through the process.
-William P. Buchanan
525 N. Main
Wichita, KS 67203