Marilyn Geer Rivera
Did the board look at ways to cut back on spending in other places? Did they look at programs that can be more cost effective, did they look at their vehicle maintenance, at their phone plans, at their internet costs, at building maintenance, at possibly installing solar energy onto their buildings and into schools to reduce the electric bills, there are so many ways to save money, sometimes its better to have an outside person review the budgets and look for these cost savings as people can defensive about their spending habits. But I want to know that these measures have taken place and I want to see proof of these measures as a way of providing accountability for ones actions.
As the county executive said during his presentation on the budget, the County – like Schools – has made significant reductions over the past number of years – over $300 million and 700 positions on the County side alone. (For a list of all reductions taken from FY 2010 through FY 2016, please visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/budget-reductions.htm.)
As you can see from this list, there are efficiencies related to energy costs, printing, and building maintenance, as well as provision of services. For the FY 2017 budget, staff has identified a number of efficiencies that total almost $14 million. These are discussed in the county executive's summary of the budget at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2017/advertised/overview/07_executive_summary.pdf.
We are constantly asking for suggestions on how to provide our services more efficiently, including a rigorous exercise last year to solicit input from employees throughout the organization, looking at both their own agencies and other parts of the County. This year, we have initiated the Lines of Business (LOBs) exercise which is designed to both educate the Board and community on the services we provide and solicit input on areas for review for efficiencies. If you have not had a chance, please visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/2016-lines-of-business.htm to review the Lines of Business and provide your comments, as well as take the LOBs survey.