Cecil County Commissioners Meeting, Feb 1, 2011 – A final decisions on forming a citizen’s committee to find savings opportunities in the county budget will be held over for at least one more week, following a split vote on how many appointees will serve on the board. At Tuesday’s workshop, Commissioner Hodge recommended two seats each, while Commissioner Broomell moved that each elected officials designate one person. That motion passed, three to two, with Commissioners Hodge and Dunn opposing the question. Commissioner Dunn thought the formation of the group would make a difficult process more challenging while his colleague on this vote favored the larger body.
Beyond settling the size of the group, officials mulled over practical matters about the committee’s focus or purpose. A paper distributed by Commissioner Hodge suggested the panel “assess Cecil County’s organizational structure and operating budget” and make recommendations “that would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of how the county government provides service to its citizens,” While the others didn’t discuss those objectives, both President Mullin and Commissioner Hodge said they thought the group should concentrate on the operating budget, and not capital spending.
Commissioner Hodge has also noted that he wants a range of “subject matter experts” with specific skill sets to serve on the board to help sort out the complex budgetary matters under consideration. There will be other ways for citizens to provide input, such as the county website, he noted.
During the regular board meeting that evening, four citizens addressed the creation of the advisory group. Thanking the commissioners “for giving the citizens of Cecil County the opportunity to participate in the annual budget process,” Ron Lobos asked each official “to vet these candidates on their qualifications and commitment to the job. It’s not important that you choose someone from the Cecil County Tea Party or the Cecil County Patriots or the Republican Central Committee, but it is important that you make wise decisions” that address the interests of our taxpayers. Another speaker, Al Reasin, said he believed there was a need for each commissioner to appoint two people because of the number of budgetary matters the panel will need to review.
So it appears the matter will be up for consideration again at next Tuesday’s workshop.