Frederick does not have a ‘massive structural deficit’

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Source: Gazette
Author: Kathy Rossen
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Date Published: 08/11/2011

Over and over I hear the Board of County Commissioners refer to Frederick County’s “massive structural deficit.” The reality, though, is that this is absolutely not true. We have heard many experts, including one of the county’s own accountants, explain that we do not have a structural deficit. In fact, county revenue and the newly adopted budget have increased by $11 million over last year. The county’s coveted AAA bond rating was just renewed, further proof that there is no deficit. Frederick could not achieve this rating if we were facing the dire financial situation that some of the commissioners continue to allege. This board has slashed human, social, and citizen services, telling us that our county can no longer afford to carry this burden. They have already cut the county workforce, laying off many longtime employees. They are now threatening to further reduce the county workforce through privatization. Yet they easily found $89,000 to create a new position for political ally Ron Tobin. They readily paid $25,000 to Oliver Porter for what turned out to be nothing more than a fill-in-the-blanks sales pitch. One of the largest increases in the budget went to the Sheriff’s Office, which received a whopping $2 million increase. This is not about tightening our belts because we are broke. This is redirecting our tax money to further an extreme political ideology.