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Pruski: County Needs Public Hearings on Budget

The candidate for county council said Anne Arundel County should follow the lead of Harford County in its budget approval process.

Andrew Pruski said the county should have hearings on the proposed FY15 budget. (Credit: Patch file)
Andrew Pruski said the county should have hearings on the proposed FY15 budget. (Credit: Patch file)
The following is a Letter to the Editor submitted by Andrew Pruski, a Democratic candidate for District 4 on the Anne Arundel County Council. 

In November of 2013, the County Executive in Harford County hosted a public hearing for taxpayers and residents to hear recommendations for their FY 15 County Budget. Members of the County Executive's cabinet and budget officials in Harford County attended this meeting to hear directly from citizens about their priorities. I believe it is time to follow this same process in Anne Arundel County. 

Both the Anne Arundel County Council and the Anne Arundel County Board of Education hold public hearings so that input can be provided to make budgetary decisions. Currently in Anne Arundel County, citizens may send correspondence to the County Executive’s Office, but no public hearing is held at the beginning of the budget process. 

As a community leader who has lead and attended numerous public hearings and outreach events, I am convinced that there is an immediate benefit to directly involving citizens in the beginning of the budget process. In a place like Anne Arundel County that is growing and expanding each year, we need to make sure that we gather as much public input as possible to help prioritize the County budget. The likely reason why an initial public hearing on the budget has not been offered by the current or a past County Executive, is not because of opposition, but because the issue has not been raised. 

I believe that there is increased transparency and accountability in changing this process to allow greater public input. If the County Executive, along with their top-level staff, took direct input from taxpayers and citizens; I believe we would see increased engagement and greater participation throughout the whole budget process.

Andrew Pruski – District 4 Anne Arundel County Council Candidate
E-mail: votepruski@gmail.com
Phone: 410-672-5312

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