Allegheny County controller: Budget cut would hamper accountability
Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said on Tuesday that she's very concerned about a 10 percent proposed cut to her office's budget for 2013 and plans to let County Council know the cuts would mean a drop in accountability for the county's finances.
Wagner spoke to council during her annual financial status report for the county, which came on the first day of budget hearings. She said she plans to address her office's budget in detail on Wednesday when officials from several departments are scheduled to speak.
“At a time when there's an increase in spending, there's going to be a decrease in accountability,” Wagner said after the hearing. “We haven't received any information substantially as to why.”
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald released his $799.4 million budget last month with no tax increase. He has said the cuts to Wagner's office will make it operate more efficiently. The two have clashed politically on several issues, battling over control of the Department of Weights and Measures.
Fitzgerald said the budget proposal for the controller's office will “not at all” affect its operations.
“That office is very much appropriately funded based on the number of audits coming out of there,” Fitzgerald said.
As part of her analysis of the county's finances, Wagner said the county is lagging behind in collecting state and federal funding for the Kane Regional Centers and has collected $12.8 million less through Aug. 31 than compared to the same time last year. She said she plans to audit the centers early next year.
“Billing is not being done in a timely manner,” Wagner said, noting that the county is three to four months behind in collecting receipts.
County Manager William McKain said the county is examining how to better collect state and federal receipts for the Kane centers, as well as staffing for them and how to better utilize their space.
Wagner said the county has not received any money from nonprofits so far this year, despite budgeting $4 million for voluntary contributions from them in the 2012 budget.
Fitzgerald said that hole would not put the county over budget but that he is in negotiations with nonprofits.
“We want to have something that has predictability to it and a reoccurring amount,” Fitzgerald said.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- UPMC researcher who died of cyanide poisoning committed suicide
- Penguins finally break through, defeat Devils at Prudential Center
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
- HOF finalist Bettis ‘behind everything’ in 2005 Super Bowl run
- Rooney says Pittsburgh is ‘good place’ for next northern Super Bowl
- Penguins notebook: Bennett a healthy scratch
- Pirates sign 2 to minor league deals
- Dungy, Greene represent more Steelers ties in hall of fame voting
- Homework: Pittsburgh Home Show to feature celebs, wine and pets
- Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M
- Wilkinsburg auto dealer scammed at least 30 people, police say