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1/29/2014

Budget results show county stays lean, on track through 2013

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Bob Stevens, Budget Office
Phone: (360) 397-6097
Robert.Stevens@clark.wa.gov

Mary Keltz, Public Information and Outreach
Phone: (360) 397-6012 ext.4
Mary.Keltz@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA – A gradually improving economy and continuing focus on lean operations helped keep Clark County programs stable through 2013.

In a report to the Board of County Commissioners today, Budget Analyst Adriana Prata said general fund revenues were right on track at the end of December, while expenses finished $2.8 million below those budgeted for 2013. She said comparable results are now projected for 2014.

“We need to make every effort to stay on course this year to strengthen our financial position and handle any unexpected or unavoidable expenses,” she added.

County departments have been scrutinizing work processes and preparing long-term staffing plans to decrease operating expenses or slow down increases previously projected.

For example, the Assessor’s Office reduced spending from about $4.4 million in 2009 to $3.5 million in 2013. Assessor Peter Van Nortwick said reductions started with budget cuts during the recession. However, the emphasis more recently has been on process improvements, technology updates and productivity.

“We have worked very hard to increase flexibility and timeliness, with the right people doing the right work,” said Van Nortwick. “This would not have been possible without cooperation and input from my amazing staff.”

Board Chair Tom Mielke thanked Van Nortwick for his achievements, which illustrate countywide objectives, including strict attention to the timing and nature of hiring as vacancies arise.

“Within the last year, many people have taken on increased responsibility for which they have been preparing through our workforce planning and development initiatives,” said Mielke. “We appreciate their fine efforts.”

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