The county has also added many new paygo capital projects, she said, using cash on hand rather than borrowing by selling bonds for them.
"We were able to do a larger number of paygo capital projects than in the prior year," Hewitt said. "So there is over $15 million in paygo capital projects. Those items that I just listed to you gives us over $22 million."
The rest will pay for the teachers pension costs, which leaves about $4.5 million, Hewitt said.
Also, Hewitt explained, "we always have to keep some money in savings that can be used for future budget situations, future paygo, natural situations - hurricanes, natural disasters."
The county also needs to maintain some savings over and above its "rainy day" fund to maintain its AAA bond rating.
Guthrie said: "I guess the bottom line here is the administration is much more in favor of projects than the employees who work for the county… To me, it's just extremely poor management."
Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti wondered what additional revenue is expected from the state relative to last week's budget actions in Annapolis. She cited a briefing from the Maryland Association of Counties that was circulated suggesting the net cost to Harford for the pension would be only $1.6 million.
"We know the expenditure number but we don't know how much money they [the state] will forgive us," Lisanti said, explaining she finds it strange that the number that will return to counties in more revenue is apparently unknown.
Lisanti said she understands the need for the pension shift, but is skeptical of the situation.
"I'm not comfortable that this is the total story and I think we all agree, that we don't know what that is, and I'm not sure how we go back and amend the budget for new revenues when they come in, and where they come in," she said.
"In a perfect world, I would like to step back a little bit and have Ms. Moore, our county council auditor, look at this and give us a much more real number, but I don't think we are there at this point due to the budget schedule," Lisanti continued. "I do hope that when it becomes more clear what money we will get from local aid, that the administration comes back to the council and we update these estimates."
Hewitt replied: "I promise you that we'll do that. I think all of us are very frustrated with the efforts we're going through right now."
She said she is very hopeful the revenue the state has given the county will come through.
"Let me assure you that none of us sitting in this room are very happy with what happened," Hewitt said.
Slutzky said the pension plan has never played out the way people might expect.
"It isn't that we had one pension system and it operated the way it was supposed to," he said. "It's changed and it's been changed by the state four times, just from my experience being in the pension system."
Earlier versions of this story gave the incorrect amount for the bonus payment. The correct amount is $625 per employee. The number of teachers represented by the teachers union was also correct. The union represents about 3,200 teachers.