The big story for Mathews County government in 2013 will continue to be the impact of the state budget and state and federal mandates on the county and its residents, said Mathews County Administrator Mindy Moran.
This year will be the fifth calendar year that the county, along with governments nationwide, have to deal with the ongoing financial challenges caused by the lingering economic downturn, she said, adding that high unemployment and underemployment continue to have a major impact on families and tax revenues in the county.
While local revenues remain relatively stable, said Moran, state funding for education and other purposes will continue to be well below the levels of 2007 and earlier. In addition, payments toward school employees’ retirement that had been delayed by the General Assembly will begin to become due, adding more stress to the budget.
The board of supervisors will continue to seek ways to reduce expenses through attrition, realignment of personnel, and cost efficiencies, said Moran. She said that the county has done a good job of downsizing responsibly and that staff deserves credit for taking on new duties and responsibilities as positions have been eliminated or reduced. The goal of the upcoming budget session will be to preserve essential and important local services while limiting additional financial burdens on residents, the administrator said.
The major staff and elected official changes that occurred in 2012 will hopefully bring new ideas and perspectives that benefit county residents, Moran said. Change-overs occurred in the positions of county administrator, county attorney, building official, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, and commonwealth’s attorney.