Letter to county employees from by fjwuxn


									From: Griffin, Anthony H.
Sent: Mon 2/23/2009 1:12 PM
To: All Fairfax County
Subject: Proposed FY 2010 Budget

Earlier today, I informed you that I would be presenting my proposed FY 2010 Budget to
the Board of Supervisors and the public this morning. If you did not have a chance to
see my budget presentation, it will air again on Channel 16 on Friday, February 27 at 9
p.m. and Friday, March 6 at 9 p.m. It can also be seen as part of the Board of
Supervisors meeting replays on Tuesday, February 24 beginning at 8 p.m. and
Saturday, February 28 at 10 a.m. Additionally, it will be available as video-on-demand
on the County’s Web site at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable/channel16/vod.htm
throughout the month of March.

You can also learn more about the FY 2010 Advertised Budget Plan by accessing the
various budget volumes on the Internet at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget. In addition,
reference copies are available in all County libraries. However, if you’re just interested
in the key points, this message summarizes them for you.

The FY 2010 Budget focuses on the County’s core services and programs. It
preserves those services fundamental to our mission – the protection and enrichment of
the quality of life for the people, neighborhoods and diverse communities of Fairfax
County. In response to the budget situation and to address the projected $650 million
deficit, I focused on three strategies: (1) Eliminate non-contractual or legally obligated
growth in the budget that would have provided for inflationary increases, salary
adjustments and increasing workloads; (2) Reduce, reengineer, reorganize, redesign
and eliminate various County lines of business; and (3) Include revenue enhancements
to keep the same relative tax burden on the residential homeowner and increase user
fees to recover an equitable return of County costs. I believe these proposed strategies
provide a balanced approach to our budget challenges. This approach was validated
time and again during our Community Dialogues and Emplo yee Brown-bags on the
budget this fall. All areas of the County’s budget will be affected. Schools, public safety
and human services comprise approximately 75 percent of the budget. All of these
areas will be significantly impacted by my FY 2010 Budget recommendation since it
would not be possible to balance the budget without adjustments to these areas while
maintaining an acceptable and sustainable level of services.

My proposed budget includes expenditure reductions totaling $106.4 million and
eliminates 524 regular positions. In addition, it includes elimination of County employee
compensation increases. The entire list of proposed reductions is available for review
at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget. Some of these reductions take advantage of
cost-saving strategies; however, many reduce or eliminate services our residents use
and enjoy. The reduction alternatives include modification in County service hours and
service levels, staffing decreases, and program eliminations. Funding reductions were
made in virtually every County agency and every single County employee will be
impacted by these actions.
My budget proposal includes an increase in the real estate tax rate that will hold
average taxes paid by residential property owners relatively flat with their FY 2009
payment level. At the proposed real estate tax rate of $1.04 per $100 of assessed
value, along with the newly proposed Stormwater Service District rate of $0.015 per
$100 of assessed value, the taxes paid by the average residential taxpa yer will be $14
more than their FY 2009 tax bill.

In terms of employee compensation, the FY 2010 Budget proposal eliminates pay
increases for employees to include pay for performance, merit increments, and
longevity step increases as well as the associated fringe benefit funding for a total
savings of $19.1 million. It should be noted that the reduction in the pay for
performance and merit increases in FY 2010 may also have an impact on employees in
terms of the calculation of their retirement annuity. Funding is not included to make an
adjustment to the retirement calculation to compensate for this impact.

The proposed spending reductions result in the elimination of 524 regular merit
positions in Fairfax County in addition to a significant reduction in the funding available
for limited-term positions. Reduction proposals did not specifically target vacant
positions but a number of position cuts reflect positions that have been held vacant and
are in areas where the lower level of staffing can be sustained for an extended period.

Unfortunately, approximately 400 of the merit positions recommended for reduction are
currently filled. This will require the implementation of a Reduction in Force (RIF). The
RIF process is primarily seniority based and considers total length of continuous paid
merit County/Schools service. A sequence of transfers and demotions will occur as
RIFed employees are placed in available vacant positions. Because agency salary
budgets have experienced across-the-board reductions during the last few fiscal years,
funding is not available to fill many vacant county positions, reducing the number of
placement opportunities for RIFed employees. It is anticipated that a number of
employees will ultimately be separated from service with the County.

The County's current severance policy provides between 3 to 6 weeks of severance pay
based on years of service. In addition, staff will be asking that the Board approve
funding to support the continuation of health insurance benefits for impacted
employees. Also, employees who are laid off will be eligible for unemployment
compensation and my proposal includes an increase for unemployment compensation
funding based on anticipated requirements. Employees who are demoted or laid off
under the RIF procedure will be eligible for re-employment for two years from date of
layoff or demotion. Additional details on the RIF procedure are available at

I encourage everyone who seeks additional information on the FY 2010 Advertised
Budget Plan to access http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget.

You also are encouraged to share your thoughts by calling the budget hotline at
703-324-9400 or submitting comments online at
Also, from February 24 – March 26, I will be hosting 10 question-and-answer sessions
with employees on the FY 2010 Budget. Topics addressed may include: the fiscal
outlook; budget timeline; County programs and services; employee compensation; and
reduction-in-force procedures. The dates, times and locations of the sessions are as
          o   Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2-4 p.m., Mason Governmental Center, Main Conf.
          o   Friday, March 6, 9-11 a.m., Mason Governmental Center, Main Conf.
          o   Tuesday, March 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Newington Maintenance Facility

          o   Wednesday, March 11, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Government Center, Rooms 9-10

          o   Thursday, March 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m., South County GC, Conference Room
          o   Friday, March 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Burke Station Rd. Carpenter Shop,
              Main Bldg.
          o   Friday, March 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Massey Building, A Level Conference
          o   Friday, March 20, 9-11 a.m., Government Center, Rooms 9-10

          o   Monday, March 23, 9-11 a.m., Reston Library, Main Conference Room

          o   Thursday, March 26, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Massey Building, A Level Conf.

The Board of Supervisors will consider the proposed budget and the public will have an
opportunity to comment on March 30, March 31 and April 1. The Board will mark up the
advertised budget on April 20, with final adoption on April 27.

I want to thank all County staff who contributed to the preparation of the FY 2010
Budget. It has been a particularly challenging process and with the revenue picture not
projected to improve significantly in the near future, we will continue to face
constraints. However, I am confident that given the dedication, creativity and
commitment of County employees, we will be able to weather these fiscal storms and
emerge an even stronger organization as a result.

Anthony H. Griffin
County Executive

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