I also attended the Somerset County Budget Committee public hearing of June16, so was interested to read the Sentinel’s well-written report in the June 17 newspaper. I also attended the previous, albeit canceled, “public hearing,” which became a workshop meeting.

I must say it looked as if committee members had not done their homework, showed no understanding of the budget process and worked hard not to understand the facts presented to them.

Unprepared, unprofessional, completely dysfunctional are words that can be used to describe the Budget Committee, which voted to pass the exact same budget as last year. There was no consideration for the departments’ proposed budgets, the commissioners’ proposed budget or contractual obligations. Determined not to raise taxes, the underlying statement of their budget is forced furlough days on hourly employees (less police coverage, fewer office hours) or to simply shut down the county government.

Furthermore, the committee’s budget would draw down the surplus reserve dangerously, forcing a major tax increase onto the 2016 budget. What a mess. It is a good thing the majority of the commissioners understand the ramifications of the budget committee’s action.

Robert Sezak


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