Proposed county budget online

Escambia County’s proposed  budget for 2021-22 is now online.  The total combined budget is $568,262,165, down $19.7 million from the current year budget of $587,933,284.

The budget online is interactive. The Escambia County Sheriff’s budget is $72.7 million, up about $7 million from the current year’s $65.8.

Ten years ago, the sheriff’s budget was $75.8 million but that included $29.7 million for jail operations.  Five years ago (2016-17), the sheriff’s budget was $55.4 million.

The Board of County Commissioners holds budget workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.


1 thought on “Proposed county budget online

  1. A bad budget document put together as the result of an ineffective budget process driven by “staff” and very cleverly made “interactive” is still a bad budget document. In contrast, see the city budget document at this link:
    Notwithstanding whether or not you agree with the city’s budget priorities, if you are a citizen (or a council member) you have a very good fighting chance of understanding the city’s budget priorities because the document is is written in English. Whether anyone knows what the words really means is another thing. In 2008, I had just retired from the Marines where I oversaw a $700 million departmental budget. I twice read the proposed FY2008-2009 and gave Director of Finance Dick Barker a list of about 100 errors and murky parts that I thought could be made clearer. He asked me if I had “read” the budget. I said I had, twice. He told me that “he” did not read the budget. When I had earlier spoken with department heads and division administrators, I was shocked to find that many were unfamiliar with their own budgets several telling me that they were not allowed to provide input. As such, even if a budget is written in English it still may not mean much. On the county side, it has no apparent strategic plan or priorities against which it measures budget performance. The BOCC mostly bounces from one self-induced crisis to the next. The BOCC could but does not devote time and effort to the budget process year-round. Instead, the BOCC let’s the staff jam them in late July. As always, at least one commissioner will likely utter in exasperation during the budget workshop – “I thought that we were going to….” – at which point “staff” will correct him, “No commissioner, we decided….” The budget should drive the county government but in Escambia County it is not an important priority. The Chief Budget Officer should be a direct report to the County Administrator. She is not. The BOCC just don’t care.

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