Hamilton County Commissioners are meeting with department heads as they work out next year's budget. With most agency leaders begging not to have their budgets slashed and Commissioners facing steep cuts, the meetings don't last long.
Board president Greg Hartmann calls the process challenging.
“We’re in the neighborhood of being $100 million dollars smaller than we were six years ago, from $300 million to $200 million,” he says.
Hamilton County Commissioners are navigating the budget process for next year. No decisions have been made but they're already responding to comments from outgoing Sheriff Simon Leis that they plan to gut his department.
Leis threatens proposed cuts would mean laying off employees and reducing space at the overcrowded county jail.
Commissioner Chris Monzel says public safety is a top priority.
Renewal levies for Hamilton County senior services and mental health will stay at their current millage rates for a five-year period, meaning reduced funding for the agencies that rely on them. Commissioners approved both levies today for November's ballot.
Board president Greg Hartmann acknowledged it would be a challenge for levy recipients, but said it was important to hold the line on property taxes when many county homeowners were facing tough economic decisions.
Commissioner Chris Monzel called it the right direction to go: