Looking ahead to the FY14 budget
Every organization has a tipping point, a point beyond which the organization is irreparably damaged. Your county government is at that point. While we have been able to absorb many of the budget reductions over the last five years, further cutbacks in services would compromise the quality of life in Pinellas County, diminish our capacity to respond to emergency events and snuff out the resiliency of this organization to react to future challenges.
The goal of local government is to maintain Pinellas County as a superior place to live, work and play. Yet, public revenue streams remain weak, even as the cost of delivering basic services continues to rise. Surface water quality, drainage, supply and demand for water and wastewater services, a structural imbalance in the county’s transportation trust fund, continued pressures on demands for health and human services, rising costs of criminal justice and public safety and escalating concerns about employee morale, recruitment and retention are but a few of the fiscal challenges facing us as we approach our next budget cycle.
The development of the budget is a complex endeavor. Our upcoming FY14 budget will be built on a foundation of strategic planning, performance measurement, program budgeting and multi-year forecasting that Pinellas County has developed over years of thoughtful and concerted effort. These planning and management systems will provide the framework and the information for logical and financially viable decisions that we will continue to use and refine as the budget process goes forward.
We invite you to learn more about Pinellas County’s budgeting process through the links and pages on this Guide to the Pinellas County Budget website, and feel free to provide us with your input via email or at any one of the upcoming public meetings and budget forums. The spirit and dedication of elected officials, management and county staff will ensure the continual delivery of high quality services to the public as we deal with the new budget realities facing us all.