Howard Co. budget discussed at hearing

October 25, 1991|By Howard County Bureau of The Sun

Howard County's budget officer told an audience of 250 gathered in the council chambers last night that the $7.5 million in budget reductions facing the county will result in "very deep program cuts" and further reductions loom because of a mounting state deficit.

"The state could be cutting another $100 to $150 million and we have to be ready," Raymond S. Wacks said. He said County Executive Charles I. Ecker has asked department heads to prepare a list of cuts equivalent to 15 percent of their budgets to cover current and possible slashes in state aid.

The County Council, which held the hearing to gauge public sentiment about the still unannounced cuts, heard a parade of speakers ask that their programs be spared.

Howard County Superintendent Michael E. Hickey urged the council to find additional revenues. Otherwise, he said, the cutbacks would cause "irreparable" damage.

Todd L. Brace of Ellicott City said that the cuts should be spread evenly across all county agencies, including the school system. But he suggested that "services should be cut with an eye towards protecting those citizens who can not protect themselves -- the elderly, the low income, the ill and the growing number of unemployed."

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