Budget Balanced, Freeman Contends

December 16, 1990

Former County Executive Habern W. Freeman says his successor, Eileen M.

Rehrmann, misled the public and press about the county's financial situation in statements she made about the condition of the county budget.

Freeman contends that the budget he left Rehrmann to manage is balanced and has $4 million left as surplus.

He says the surplus can be calculated this way: $1.5 million in unappropriated funds, or surplus; $2 million in government underspending; and $500,000 in unanticipated revenues.

In her first week in office, Rehrmann imposed cost-cutting measures after she determined that all but $1.5 million of an $18 million surplus had been spent by Freeman and the County Council as of Oct. 16 and that there would be no surplus to carry into the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 1991.

Rehrmann says the $4 million surplus that Freeman calculates will be spent between now and June 30 on operating costs.

Making a rare appearance at a County Council meeting Tuesday, Freeman told council members, "The newspapers, George Harrison and Eileen Rehrmann may not understand fund balances, surpluses and budgets, but you, the council must.

"The fund balance, if the books were closed this moment, would have a $4 million surplus. To detract from this fact is deceitful, misleading and harmful to the economy and well-being of our Harford County."

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