Wanner on JCC Budget Tour with Grim News

November 30th, 2009 by Kim Lenz

jamescitycountylogoJames City County is facing a bleak fiscal future and will be holding public meetings in December to share the grim news with residents and give them a chance to share their thoughts.

“Even though we’ve already reduced spending and cut some services, the tougher years are ahead,” says County Administrator Sandy Wanner. “There is no doubt in my mind that county citizens will see services they have enjoyed over the years reduced or eliminated.” The county estimates a shortfall of $5-6 million in revenues for FY2011-2012 which it will have to compensate for through service and program cuts, increasing revenues, or some combination of these options.

The county’s FY2010 budget required cuts in services due to a $3 million revenue shortfall, and the fiscal climate when the budget was made was one of the worst Wanner had seen in decades. The county increased a few fees, reduced leaf collection, eliminated mosquito control, eliminated 34 open positions, increased insurance premiums for county employees, reduced funding for nonprofit organizations and reduced funding for the school system.

Neighborhood Schedule

All residents of James City County may attend any of the following meetings, which begin at 7 p.m. except for the Roberts District meeting as noted below.

December 1 – Jamestown District, Rawls Byrd Elementary School, 112 Laurel Lane
December 2 –  Roberts District, James River Elementary School, 8901 Pocahontas Trail, (begins at 7:30 p.m.)
December 7 – Stonehouse District, Toano Middle School, 7817 Richmond Road
December 9 –  Powhatan District, Warhill High School, 4615 Opportunity Way
December 10 – Berkeley District, Jamestown High School, 3751 John Tyler Highway

There’s no fat left to trim and tough decisions will be made as far as possible reductions and eliminations, Wanner says. The state will likely have bad news to share when the governor makes his budget address in January, and “when the state is in difficult straights that just rolls downhill” and hits local economies, Wanner says.

The decision to hold public meetings in every district is a first for the county, he says, but the county wants residents to know exactly what’s ahead. Wanner will be giving presentations on the current fiscal situation at each meeting, as well as possible options for balancing the budget. “We will be making very serious decisions, and we want to get feedback from residents on what’s important to them, and what’s not,” he said.

Residents will be given cards to fill out, which will give Wanner and supervisors an idea about how citizens feel about various options.

A pre-budget hearing is scheduled during the January 12 supervisors meeting, and supervisors will meet in late January for their annual budget retreat.

3 Responses to Wanner on JCC Budget Tour with Grim News

  1. Anonymous

    December 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Would it make sense to consider delaying the opening of the new school? that would save a significant amount of money and forestall a bitter debate with regard to redistricting.

    Repurposing the Jamestown Marina and Jamestown Campgrounds to private parties would also help a little.

  2. Anonymous

    December 1, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    “There’s no fat left to trim and tough decisions will be made as far as possible reductions and eliminations”
    Welcome to the real world where budgets have to be balanced. I saw no real cuts made in the current JCC budget.
    Private sector workers have faced in the same time-frame significant layoffs, whilst those remaining had to suffer significant pay cuts; mandatory unpaid time off; no 401k matching; and significantly increased health care premiums/co-pays/co-insurances.
    At my employer the numbers were a 10% pay-cut; 41 days mandatory time off (meaning 21 days unpaid for many folks); no 401k match. On the business side budgets were scrutinized consistently to reduce fixed and variable costs.
    When the JCC staffers exhibit this level of stress and I see JCC office facility lights on and folks working until 8 or 9pm each day i’ll be happy they are contributing their part to the problem.

  3. Anonymous

    December 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Schools are the biggest problems and JCC should raise taxes – they have one of the lowest in the area.

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