By Connie Chang
Monday, October 19, 2009
, a candidate for the open Samuel Miller District seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, held a press conference Monday to address the County’s projected budget shortfalls. Cummings said he was concerned about the proposal to cut 15-20% from the county budget, a recommendation made by one of his opponents last week.
At last Wednesday’s
Senior Statesmen of Virginia candidate forum
said he could “guarantee” that the County could cut 15-20% from its current budget if it analyzed the entire budget line-by-line. Snow has said zero-based budgeting is his top priority if elected.
“Those that may not be familiar with the zero based budget, that’s where you go back and look at where you’re spending the money, why you’re spending the money, and are you getting your money’s worth,” said Snow. “And if you do that, I will guarantee you that you can come up 15 to 20 % percent savings by taking a hard look at your budget…”
Cummings said he would take a “moderate approach” to addressing future budget decisions, which he said will eliminate the need for “drastic actions such as permanent tax increases” and layoffs.
At the Board of Supervisors
strategic planning retreat
held last Friday, Supervisors and staff discussed the expected local government budget shortfalls (excluding schools) which are projected to range from $2.4 million in FY 2011 to $5.8 million in FY 2015. Cummings said 15-20% cuts would be impossible and that cuts in the range of 1-2% cuts are more realistic.
In a statement given to the media, Cummings said “current projections show shortfalls less than 2%” in the local government budget (excluding schools) during the next five years. “The deep 15-20% cuts that Mr. Snow guarantees us to be possible would be harmful and unwarranted,” said Cummings.
Cummings said he wants to employ a more moderate approach should he be elected, which includes continuing the current hiring freeze, delaying expenditures which can afford to be delayed, and finding creative ways to manage expenditures such as cross-training employees.
“I’m not willing to step back on the services and the richness of our County in schools, public safety, and all the other issues the Board of Supervisors have to address,” said Cummings.