MARCH 5, 2009


The 2009 Middlesex County Operating Budget that we introduce tonight totals $392 million dollars and includes $9.6 million dollars in cuts made over the last few weeks so that we meet State CAP limits. I have to thank and applaud Budget Director Al Kuchinskas, all our department heads and the entire staff for their swift and determined action to make hard decisions and put the taxpayers first.
Since unveiling a budget plan in January, the Board of Chosen Freeholders and Middlesex County department heads have aggressively cut operating expenses and salaries and wages to ensure taxpayers receive quality programs and services at prices they can afford.

We know that cutting expenses alone is not enough to introduce a responsible budget. We are looking for new ways to bring revenue to the County. Each Freeholder has taken the lead on revenue generating initiatives within their departments. Deputy Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano, chair of the Administration and Finance Committee, will detail those for you.

Again, I express my thanks to County Comptroller and Budget Director Al Kuchinskas, his entire team and all County Department Heads and staff members who have worked closely with us during this difficult budget process. I especially want to thank the employees who brought forward ideas for new sources of revenue and cost efficiencies. Middlesex County is the Greatest County in the Land not only because of the people who live here, but because of the people who work here.  Thank you.

I now recognize Freeholder Deputy Director Christopher D. Rafano, chairman of our Administration and Finance Committee, for the purpose of detailing the status of the budget. Freeholder Rafano.