County Releases Preliminary 2008 Budget

Kitsap County Preliminary 2008 Budget: Download file

Lay-offs affecting 10 individuals in 2007 and 2008 are part of the budget balancing act.
By Chris Henry
chenry@kitsapsun.com
PORT ORCHARD
For the first time since 1987, Kitsap County will balance its budget without dipping into its reserve fund.
On Wednesday, the county released a preliminary $327.96 million budget for public review. A public hearing on the document, available on the county’s Web site, will be held Dec. 3.
The budget process took on extra urgency this year, as the county’s reserve fund will be essentially depleted in 2008.
County officials have spent nearly all of 2007 identifying spending cuts to address a shortfall in 2008 general fund revenues that was, at one time, projected as high as $4 million. Higher than expected revenues reduced the required savings to $2.8 million.
Five individuals were laid off in 2007, and five more, including the county’s public information officer, will receive pink slips in 2008 as part of the budget reduction. The balance of the deficit will be made up by cuts in supplies, savings on employee medical benefits and new ways of doing business that result in greater efficiency.
A press release from the county cites a staff reduction of 33 positions, but most of those positions were vacated and not re-filled during the county’s hiring freeze, enacted at the start of 2007, said County Administrator Nancy Buonanno-Grennan. The positions of some staff members who are resigning in 2008 will not be filled, and some positions have had a reduction in hours.
“It’s been very difficult for everybody,” said Buonanno-Grennan.
“Like working families and businesses facing rising costs everywhere, Kitsap County must also live within our means, and this balanced budget shows that we’re being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers,” said Commissioners Josh Brown, chairman of the county’s board of commissioners.
The county’s general fund, at $87.6 million, is the largest of its budget categories. The general fund covers the functions of elected officials, public safety, law and justice, parks, general government and community programs.

5 thoughts on “County Releases Preliminary 2008 Budget

  1. These comments of Josh Brown, “Like working families…everywhere,” really annoy me.

    I am not sure why they are so annoying, it could be that he is all of 28, so you have to wonder what he truly understands of the struggles of “working familes,” or maybe it’s because I attended a meeting in which people were collecting for his “defense fund.”

    It was hard not to think, “this kid is making over $100,000 a year and they want ME to help pay for his legal bills!”

  2. For Heaven’s Sake… fight him on issues, not on spoons and ‘blue collars.’
    My objection to Josh Brown was his youth and inexperience.
    His competence in the job has yet to be seen…he has barely started.
    I sure approve of the county common sense approach to the budget…

    “…will receive pink slips in 2008 as part of the budget reduction. The balance of the deficit will be made up by cuts in supplies, savings on employee medical benefits and new ways of doing business that result in greater efficiency…”

    Thanks for the good news, Chris…
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. One statement he made concerns me… He was quoted in the paper (and I’m not looking up the exact article right now) that the only time the county would go to the voters for a levy lift was “in the event of a recession”. That strikes me as the absolute wrong time to ask people for more money.

  4. You’re right, BL…asking for money in a recession is bad timing. Sort of like fishing from shore with a 25 foot line at a -50 foot tide.
    If the statement is accurate, it could be due to his age and lack of understanding of what a ‘recession’ means…or he is really a optimistic person… and, who knows, he might be right.
    Sharon O’Hara

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