Commissioner Michael Pipe2013 CENTRE COUNTYGOVERNMENT TENTATIVE BUDGETPRESENTATION
2013 Budget• One of the duties of the minority commissioner is to offer a different viewpoint from the majority commissioners and to hold them accountable.• Set up meetings with all of the Department Heads and Elected Officials. I went line-by-line through their budgets.• Town Hall Meetings
Board Agreement in over 30 Areas of the Budget• Centre Crest • Jury Commissioners• Children and Youth Services • Maintenance• Commissioners • Planning and Community Development• Conservation District • Probation & Parole• Controller • Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts• Cooperative Extension • Public Defender• Coroner • Recorder of Deeds• Court Administration • Records Management• Criminal Justice Planning • Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans• District Attorney Court• District Judges • Risk Management• Domestic Relations • Sheriff• Elections and Voter Registration • Tax Assessment• Emergency Communications/9-1-1 • Tax Collection/Tax Claim• Emergency Services • Transportation• GIS • Treasurer• Housing Authority • Veterans Affairs• Human Resources • Weights and Measures Board has 98.5% of Agreement.
Areas of Debate• Use of Act 13 Funds• Amount of Contingency Fund• Prison payroll changes• Contract with Community Help Centre• Staffing at the Office of Aging• Cuts in services at Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities
Robust Debate on Act 13• Impact fee was for natural gas related impacts• Governor Corbett side-stepped around “no tax” pledge• I supported the passage of the ordinance even though the fee was not enough• Have there been impacts related to the drilling?• Use the Act 13 to balance the budget or else taxes go up
Robust Debate on Act 13• Amount of impact fee will decline. After Year 3 (Spring 2014 payment) the maximum amount that can be assessed for a well is $20,000. For the $660,000 payment the County received, the assessed amount for a well was at $50,000.• Snow Shoe Borough - $7,000• Using Act 13 funds for programs that we’ve historically used General Fund money concerns me as they might be being moved onto the endangered species list.
Human Services Cuts• Cuts to three areas of human services budgets: – Adult Services – contract with Community Help Centre – Office of Aging – laying off 3 staff positions • 3 “Care Managers II” (case workers) – Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities • $350,000 reduction in Purchase Client Services
Cuts to Human Services• Adequately funding human services is important because “it helps people address their problems now instead of in the future, when the problems could worsen and become more expensive to address.”• What could happen if human services are reduced?
Taxes• I’ll never be afraid to advocate and fund something that I believe is important – 9-1-1 radio system upgrade• There will be a time in the future when a Centre County Board of Commissioners raises taxes. Hopefully, it’s been after they have exhausted every other measure.
Hope for a compromise?• The Board of Commissioners has 24 days until final passage of the budget…• Different perspectives, different approaches