The County Council's process to adopt a two-year budget for calendar years 2020 and 2021 began with the Executive Budish’s Strategic Overview and Budget and Management Director Maggie Keenan’s Detailed Overview, both on October 7th. The budget resolution was introduced into Council on the following day.
Dale Miller is Chairperson of the Finance & Budgeting Committee and is leading the budget process in the Committee of the Whole. After hearing the overview, we held departmental hearings on October 15th, 17th, and 21st. At these hearings, the directors of each department presented his/her budget, discussed challenges and opportunities, and answered questions from Councilpersons. Additional departmental hearings will take place on Monday, October 28th at 1 PM and Tuesday, October 29th at 9 AM. Additional sessions to work out amendments are scheduled for Tuesday, November 12th at 3 PM and Monday, November 18th at 1 PM. The budget process will be completed on Tuesday, December 10th.
All of the budget hearings take place at the Council Chambers on the 4th Floor of the County Administration Building at East 9th & Prospect and are open to the public. Anyone who wishes may address the Council for up to 3 minutes at the beginning of each meeting. Attendees may obtain a voucher from the clerk that covers parking at the parking garage on the SE Corner of E. 9th & Prospect.
The budget process is central to what county government does. It creates a set of priorities for the county for the next two years and provides a forum for performance review of everything that the county does. Key initiatives in the Executives budget include:
Funding to maintain newly increased staffing of corrections officers and their supervisory staff at the county jail.
Funding for pre-trial services to enable bail reform
Funding for a diversion center to provide a better alternative to incarceration for people with mental health and addiction disorders.
Additional funding for the County Prosecutor’s Office, especially to provide addition service for child welfare cases.
Funding for planting of trees and other environmental initiatives.
At this early point in the process, there is strong support on Council for additional funding for Senior & Adult Services, above what the Executive recommended.
There is access to a great deal of useful budget information on the County Council’s website, including hearing schedules, the administration’s budget book, and presentations made by the directors. To access this material, go to the county’s website at www.cuyahogacounty.us. Under “county resources,” click on “Council Home Page.” From the Council’s page, look to the right under “Featured Items” and click on “2020-2021 Biennial Budget.”
I will provide further updates as this process continues.