Letter: County Budget Mostly Good

Fairfield’s budget process has hit many high notes and some sour ones to date.

On the positive side, there will not be any base millage rate increases. Also on the positive side, our Council has demonstrated prudent fiscal restraint on the most extreme requests such as the inane pitch for a $400K non-essential building/monument.

Additionally, Council budgeted wise investments in development like water and sewer infrastructure. The Sheriff’s department and lower paid employees also benefit from thoughtful council investments.

The budget’s downside however, is the current projection of reduced general fund reserves over last year. Also troubling is the apparent over-optimistic revenue projections. A $1.3 million increase in the drawdown of the fund balance (think reserve) cannot be considered a good thing. Another risky move is projecting only a few hundred thousand dollar net revenue decrease (after grants and fund balance adjustments.) That aforementioned combination increases our fiscal vulnerability in light of the certain economic headwinds ahead.

So today, I say thanks to Council for its aforementioned positive budget moves.

A year from today. I hope the Council will be able to say the aforementioned unique projections were spot on and we were even able to actually reduce our fund balance draw.

Randy Bright

Ridgeway