Name one program in the county budget that is not working and can be cut. Tell us how much in annual savings that would yield.
I have been a leading proponent of trying to find ways that our county could operate more efficiently. Working with the County Executive, I was the lead sponsor of legislation that created the Organizational Reform Commission, led by a diverse and talented group of citizens to identify ways we could make our county government more efficient. However, at the end of the day, while there were steps we were able to take that made our county government more efficient, direct dollar savings were not significant.
I have for years argued that the County Executive should move to what is known as “zero based budgeting”. What is zero based budgeting? “Zero-based budgeting is a repeatable process that organizations use to rigorously review every dollar in the annual budget, manage financial performance on a monthly basis, and build a culture of cost management among all employees.” That would be my goal as County Executive.
In addition to rigorous scrutiny of costs, there are initiatives that you don’t readily think of that can produce cost savings – initiatives like having our county buy 100% renewable power and putting solar on our county rooftops. Those initiatives alone will save many millions of dollars going forward. Sometimes doing the right thing actually can save taxpayer dollars!