Commissioners Move Forward on Independent Financial Review

Hamilton County Commissioners were presented with preliminary findings from Crowe LLP, an outside accounting firm brought in to analyze the general fund budget. Read the presentation here.

Commissioners partnered with the Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC) and the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC) to fund an independent and thorough analysis of the county’s short and long-term fiscal health.  Hamilton County faces an on-going structural imbalance that has yet to be solved despite a decade of budget cuts and stop-gap measures that no longer exist. The existing budget gap is between $20 Million to $40 Million. 

“Our structural imbalance in the General Fund is complex and we want the community to know that every effort is being made to solve this problem in a prudent and responsible way,” said Commission President Denise Driehaus. “This is part of our broader community discussion that will determine what we prioritize in county government.” 

“My focus from day one is to bring the county out of this multimillion-dollar deficit,” said Commission Vice President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “An independent review could realize significant savings and efficiencies.”

“Hamilton County’s fiscal health affects the health of the entire region because we are first and foremost a service organization,” said Commissioner Todd Portune. “This study and it’s outcome directly determines the breadth of services we can provide across a broad spectrum of needs whether they involve public safety, public welfare and health, or the physical condition of public facilities, roads, highways and bridges, and all things in between.   The bottom line is the conclusion of this work will better position the county to meet its obligations to all of those in need.” 

“We appreciate the Commissioners’ commitment to an independent financial review and look forward to participating in this partnership,” said CBC/CRBC President Gary Lindgren. “Hamilton County’s fiscal policies and overall government efficiency have a significant impact on all residents and businesses.”

The project will be conducted in two phases. Phase one assesses the causes of the county’s structural deficit and will identify options for addressing it through spending reductions, new revenues and enhanced efficiencies. Phase two examines the long-term stability of the county including structural modifications and engaging other local governments. The CBC/CRBC and the county are splitting the $570,000 total cost of the analysis with the county’s portion capped at $272,500. 

Updated 10-15-19

Posted on 06/29/2019