After listening to County Manager Harry Jones and Budget Director Hyong Yi give a budget overview, about 50 residents who showed up for the public meeting were divided into three groups and given listings of the Board of County Commissioners FY2012 Priorities. Those priorities are divided into priority levels. Residents were asked to rank the priorities based on what they think should receive priority funding.
One group listed their priorities as: education, keeping the library system whole, transportation, and looking at the impact of property revaluation on communities and families.
A second group said the county should focus on debt service, funding of CMS, libraries, funding of park and recreation, and transportation.
The third group said the priorities for funding should be CMS, debt service, libraries, water/air quality, health and human services, and park and recreation.
Other concerns voiced by individuals included: jails and detention, economic development, needing an audit of CMS, funding of medic and fire, job training.
One resident pointed out that funding of park and recreation also accomplishes other goals such as air and water quality, protection of natural resources, and science education.
The Cornelius Town Hall meeting was the final in a series of town hall-style meetings around the county where residents were given opportunities to give their input on county budget priorities. Results are being compiled and will be given to the County Manager and his executive team for consideration during their budget preparation.
Other meetings were held at Matthews Town Hall, with the East Charlotte Community Partners, West Boulevard Community Roundtable, and at the Charlotte School of Law.