WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County commissioners will hold their next discussion of the 2013 budget later this month at an evening meeting.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Public Health and Legislative Building, 314 W. Main St. Items to be discussed include the preliminary budget and requests from elected officials and department heads, as well as the process to balance the budget.
Two weeks of meetings on the 2013 budget have failed to resolve a $1.9 million gap between projected revenues and expenditure requests. At a meeting Monday with elected officials and department heads, commissioners Greg Tompkins, Perry Dozier and Jim Johnson went over which parts of the budget can or cannot be cut as well as looming issues, such as the outcome of contract negotiations with three employee unions, that could affect finances.
“In order for the public to learn more about the county budget process and the necessary — and difficult — decisions that must be made by the county commissioners to achieve a balanced budget annually, the public is invited to attend this informational meeting. There will be various presentations and a question and answer format utilized,” Tompkins said in a release.
Commissioners must prepare a balanced budget for adoption following a public hearing on the finalized budget on the first Monday in December. This year’s hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 3.
The budget process begins in July when preliminary budgets are sent to elected officials and department heads. Those are returned to the county Auditor in August for compiling. They are then presented to the county commissioners on the first Tuesday in September, after which commissioners begin work to balance the budget.