In preparation for Harford County’s next budget, County Executive Barry Glassman plans a virtual town hall meeting on January 14 with multimedia options now available for citizens to communicate their priorities for the fiscal year 2017. This second annual event will be streamed live on the county website beginning at 6:00 p.m. from Harford Community College’s Darlington Hall.
“I understand how difficult it can be for busy citizens to come out to a public meeting,” said County Executive Glassman. “Through social media and other modern methods, our first-ever virtual town hall made it easier for everyone to participate in developing our current budget. For next year’s budget, citizens are once again invited to tell me what they care about; using whichever method is most convenient.”
Beginning immediately, citizens can provide budget comments via social media, email, or U.S. Mail. The county executive will review all incoming messages, some of which will be read aloud during the live event. Other options at the live event include public comments from attendees and calls to dedicated phone lines.
Contact information is as follows:
Facebook: Harford County’s Virtual Town Hall
Mailing address: Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, 220 S. Main St., Bel Air, Md., 21014
Call-in number: 443-412-2700 (activated only during the live event)
On January 14, citizens may also watch the live event from the county Web page www.harfordcountymd.gov/VirtualTownHall. New this year, the Web page will scroll some incoming social media, email, and phone messages.
The virtual town hall meeting will begin with a brief review of the budget process.
By law, the county executive proposes a budget each April to fund county operations and capital programs for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on the first of July. The county executive’s recommended budget, which is based on revenue projections, is subject to final approval by the Harford County Council.
Once the county executive sets operating funding levels, the council may not add funding to any area of the budget except for the public school system. If the council adds funding for the schools, it can only add up to the amount requested by the school board, and only by taking those funds from another area in the county budget, or by raising revenue.
The primary source of county revenue is local property and income taxes paid by county citizens.
In addition to the school system, several other outside agencies depend, fully or partially, on county funding for their operating and capital budgets. These agencies include the sheriff’s office, community college, public library and health department. It is important to note that once county funding for outside agencies is approved by the County Council, budgeting decisions within each agency are determined by that agency’s leadership, based on revenue from all sources.
For more information about the county budget, please visit http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/1531/Budget-and-Management-Research