County commissioners from across the state will be swapping ideas on how to stretch a dollar this week as they gather at a fall conference. The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania will open its meeting in Hershey Monday.
Commissioners might not be sweating any kind of local fiscal cliff, but big spending decisions are due soon. Counties must submit budget proposals by the end of the month, and final spending plans must be adopted by the end of the year.
The association’s executive director Doug Hill said making spending decisions is never easy, but for most counties this will be another very tough budget season.
“Most of the counties have already put budgets on the table that either propose significant cuts or tax increases or a mix,” said Hill. “What we’re really trying to do is share the best ideas on how we can take limited resources and still provide quality resources to all of our constituents.”
Among those addressing attendees will be director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Glenn Cannon. Hill said Cannon will talk about “upgrading our 911 system which is a service counties provide, but [he] will also talk about our response to Hurricane Sandy.”
Counties will also have a chance to learn more about the package of prison reforms passed this year by the General Assembly. The changes aim to bring down the state’s inmate population by keeping more of them in county prisons and locally run rehabilitation programs.