Cecil County Commissioners Meeting, January 18, 2011 – Two people called on the commissioners to form a budget advisory committee to assist in the fiscal process for the upcoming year. Concerned that the county didn’t have line item control of the budget and the burden of state mandates, Al Reasin said “it would be advisable to have a group of citizens assist the county in making budget determinations. Otherwise the entire burden of this will be on your shoulders.”
Ron Lobos, advising that the elected officials had a difficult time coming up with this year’s budget, said “I’d like to ask the commissioners if they’d consider a citizen advisory board to help assist them in the budgetary process. Saying this would provide a form of checks and balances, Ron also noted other benefits, in better transparency, creative solutions, and monitoring for conflicts of interest. “In 2010, we discussed ways of being creative. In 2011, we’re going to have to expand a little bit further. I think we need to be creative in ways that help establish a budget in all departments. We need to make a concerted effort . . . to take greater control of the budget. It’s not going to be easy. When a tail is allowed to wag the dog through state mandates, we’re left with a recipe for destruction or at least never ending tax increases . . . . There are a lot of talented citizens out there who can contribute . . . and we want to help.”
As the meeting concluded Commissioner Moore asked for the floor to report that the board had discussed forming a citizen’s advisory group during the morning workshop. “During the public comment section it was brought up several times, the possibility of a citizen advisory committee. We did discuss that in today’s work-sessions and Commissioners Hodge and Broomell are going to work on that,” she remarked.