This makes you wonder not only how much Fairfax has been overspending over lo these many years (a Gerry Connolly legacy?), but also how the consequences of Obamacare are affecting them. This could be Obama’s WAR on Fairfax County, Virginia, and other locales…
From: County Executive Ed Long
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 10:43 AM
To: All Fairfax County
Subject: Difficult News
As we continue to hear every day, our nation’s economy is recovering slowly, and this national situation impacts Fairfax County as well. So far this year, our local economic indicators point to much slower growth than we hoped. In addition, it is far from clear how the federal budget deficit will be addressed in the coming months.
As a result, we are projecting budget shortfalls for the next two fiscal years, FY 2014 and FY 2015, and I have asked every agency director to work with employees to find new and creative ways to cut their budget by 5 percent during each of the next two budgets. As they look for ways to trim programs and services, this could mean that positions will be cut.
I am also evaluating for FY 2014 and FY 2015 the county’s options to fund employee compensation and rising benefit costs, particularly for health insurance. Our latest experience indicates that health claims expenditures are increasing at a higher rate than previously projected, and the cost of insurance for both employees and the county will rise. We are going to need to critically evaluate the balance between service delivery, compensation and benefits, and the tax burden on our residents.
I know that many of the reductions will significantly impact the ability of county agencies to provide services. The impact of these reductions on service delivery will be clearly defined and agencies will also need to identify efficiencies through continued process improvement and collaboration that can offset reductions.
To help us deal with the difficult times ahead, I am implementing a multi-year budget process to provide more insight into how decisions in the budget year will impact the following year. This multi-year budget will serve as a planning tool to provide county decision-makers with a broader perspective of issues and array of options for balancing the FY 2014 budget while being aware of the FY 2015 budget impact.
It would be much easier to be a high performance organization in an environment of ample resources. We’ve all been asked to do more with less before, and since the economy is cyclical, we can expect a few more years before revenues improve. Team Fairfax has demonstrated time and time again that we can adjust to changing conditions and continue to manage well in lean times.
I appreciate the diligent efforts you have made to find ways to streamline operations as well as offer thoughtful suggestions for budget reductions. These past few years have demonstrated more clearly than ever that we cannot sustain all of the services we would like to provide with unreliable revenue growth. Nevertheless, we are strongly committed to doing our best to keep Fairfax County a desirable place in which to live, work and play. I truly appreciate all your efforts in addressing ongoing budget challenges; our success in responding to the uneven economic recovery has brought credit to all who serve the public.
We will continue to evolve as an excellent organization despite fiscal, service and personnel challenges. Thank you for your fine work and dedication.