Virtual town hall

BEL AIR — Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will host a virtual town hall this month for citizens to share their priorities for the next county budget. This annual virtual town hall provides multiple opportunities for public input on the budget at any time in the weeks leading up to and during the live event, where in-person testimony is also welcome.

This year’s virtual town hall will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Chesapeake Theater on the campus of Harford Community College in Bel Air. The live event will be broadcast by Harford Cable Network, and it will stream live and be archived on the county website.

“Our award-winning virtual town hall format invites citizens to share their county budget priorities in whatever way is convenient for them, while letting them also hear what others have to say,” Glassman said. “Our goal is an efficient and transparent process that makes it easy to get involved.”

Starting now, citizens are invited to send in their county budget priorities for the fiscal year 2021 via dedicated social media pages, email and U.S. Mail. Excerpts and summaries of this input will be read aloud by a moderator during the live meeting. The meeting will also include live testimony from attendees and relayed messages from callers to a dedicated phone line.

Contact information is as follows:

Email: iGovHarford@harfordcountymd.gov

Facebook: Harford County’s Virtual Town Hall

Twitter: @iGovHarford

U.S. Mail: Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, 220 S. Main St., Bel Air, MD 21014

Phone: 443-412-2700 (dedicated phone line activated only during the live event)

At 6 p.m. Jan. 23, citizens can also watch the live event from the county web page, www.harfordcountymd.gov/VirtualTownHall.

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 1. The county executive’s recommended budget, which is based on revenue projections, is subject to final approval by the Harford County Council.

The primary source of county revenue is local property and income taxes paid by county citizens. Historically, the portion of all general fund revenue dedicated to Harford County Public Schools has averaged 50%.

In addition to the public 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.

For more information about the county budget, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/1531/Budget-and-Management-Research.

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