PR Question #3
Question 3: Does the county have adequate reserve funds to weather another recession? (150 words max.)
I believe the county has enough reserve funds to weather another recession of shorter duration when one occurs. A portion of our reserve fund was tapped when valuations decreased and building slowed in Summit County several years ago. Now that the economic indicators look positive for Summit County, it would be appropriate and prudent to place more funds in our reserves while maintaining essential service levels for the citizenry of Summit County.
As auditor, I will continually look for ways to keep costs in check so as to further enhance our reserves.
This is a somewhat subjective question which depends on the depth and length of the next recession, how non-tax revenue is affected, the willingness of citizens to forego county services, the ability of the county to find new funding sources, etc. That said, accounts generally have a reserve built in. Where appropriate, I would like to see that amount increased. Yet most telling is the Tax Stability or Rainy-Day account. The upper limit on that account is $15 million. Several years ago $2 million was taken from the account as a 'loan' (which obviously was never meant to be repaid) and then the citizens unwisely voted to not repay the 'loan.' Now the account is down to $10.2 million and instead of the interest from that money being used to increase its balance, it is being spent elsewhere. This while inflation decreases the actual value of the account! Voteshumway.org.