Montgomery County Freezes Hiring and Purchasing to Balance Budget

To bring its budget into balance for fiscal 2015, Montgomery County has instituted a hiring freeze and suspended purchasing for the remainder of the fiscal year.  County officials have also released spending parameters for the upcoming fiscal year as departments prepare budget requests.

As reported by the Washington Post,

Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Firestine has also directed county departments to prepare their proposed budgets for fiscal 2016 — which begins July 1 — assuming a 3 percent spending cut.

The belt-tightening, outlined by Firestine on Monday in a series of memos to department directors, is a response to lower-than-projected tax revenue, the result of a state economy still in a sluggish recovery from the recession.

There are exemptions associated with the freeze on hiring and purchasing.

The moratorium on hiring does not include 14 job groups, including police, firefighters, correctional officers, bus drivers and crossing guards.

Purchasing related to the county’s capital improvements program and certain contracts are also exempt.