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Harford County Executive David R. Craig will host a hearing on the FY 11 budget on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The budget hearing is open to the public and will be held at C. Milton Wright High School near Bel Air. The session will begin at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium.

“The purpose of this public budget hearing is to hear from the people of Harford County as to what is important for them and what they would like to see funded,” Craig said in a news release.

Bob Thomas, spokesman for Craig, said the county executive will not comment on the projected size of the budget before the hearing.

Thomas said they're planning to address that issue this month.

In April 2009, Craig revealed his proposed budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which was $811,556,090, including all funds. The proposed budget for fiscal year 2010 was nearly $75 million less than the previous year.

Later, the Harford County Council adopted the budget with a 5 percent, or $5 million, cut to several county government departments and agencies.

As a result, Craig announced plans to layoff 34 county employees and five days of furloughs for all county government employees.

Joining the county executive for the hearing will be members of his cabinet and county budget officials.

The FY 11 fiscal budget will be prepared between January and late March of 2010. It will be presented to the Harford County Council by April 1. The county council reviews the proposed budget forwarded to them by the county executive, and has the oversight to decrease or eliminate some budget items. The council can only increase the budget of the Board of Education. The county council is required by the Harford County Charter to pass the budget by June 30.

“We want to hear from the public, the taxpayers of Harford County prior to developing the budget,” Craig said. “We are asking for public input before we make decisions that affect the quality of life of the people of Harford County."

Those wishing to speak during the budget hearing should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the session in order to sign in. Those addressing the county executive and cabinet will be given three minutes to speak. Those speaking on behalf of a group or organization will be allotted five minutes to speak.


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