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Harford's Glassman holds annual budget town hall Thursday evening

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will host a virtual town hall meeting for citizens to provide input on the next county budget at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Harford Community College’s Darlington Hall.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will host a virtual town hall meeting for citizens to provide input on the next county budget at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Harford Community College’s Darlington Hall. (Harford County government)

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will host a virtual town hall meeting for citizens to provide input on the next county budget at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Harford Community College’s Darlington Hall.

In addition to live testimony, multimedia options are available now and will remain open during the meeting to encourage public involvement in planning the fiscal year 2019 budget. The virtual town hall meeting will include live and virtual input and will stream live on the county website, according to a county news release.

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You can watch the event live here. The web page will also scroll some incoming social media, email, and phone messages.

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Since early January, people have been able to provide comments on the budget via social media, email or U.S. Mail.

According to the news release, the county executive will review all incoming messages before the town hall meeting. During the live event, representative comments will be read aloud, along with messages relayed from callers to activated phone lines. This input will be alternated with public comments from attendees at Darlington Hall.

Comments Thursday may be provided through any of the following:

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Twitter: @iGovHarford

Phone: 443-412-2700. This is a dedicated phone line activated only during the live event.

“Harford County’s virtual town hall meetings received an award from the National Association of Counties as an efficient and convenient way for citizens to share their county budget priorities and hear what others have to say,” Glassman said in a statement. “Everyone is welcome to attend the live event, but participation is also just a call or a click away. We’re making it easier for citizens with busy lives to take part in their local government.”

The virtual town hall meeting will begin with a brief review of the budget process.

By law, the county executive proposes a budget each April to fund county operations and capital programs for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1st. The county executive’s recommended budget, which is based on revenue projections, is then subject to final approval by the Harford County Council.

Once the county executive sets operating funding levels, the council may not add funding to any area of the budget except for the public school system. If the council adds funding for the schools, it can only add up to the amount requested by the school board, and only by taking those funds from another area of the county budget or by raising revenue.

The primary source of county revenue is local property and income taxes paid by county citizens.

In addition to the school system, several other outside agencies depend, in full or in part, on county funding for their operating and capital budgets. These agencies include the sheriff’s office, community college, public library and health department. It is important to note that once county funding for outside agencies is approved by the County Council, budgeting decisions within each agency are determined by that agency’s leadership, based on revenue from all sources.

Find more information about the Harford County budget here.

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