Best Practice County Financial Management Serves Everyone

As the pandemic continues to shape county budgets and fiscal health, it is more important than ever for counties to implement strong budgeting procedures. 

At the 2021 MACo Summer Conference Academy Core session, “County Financial Management,” attendees learned about the budgeting process, funding sources, important financial terms, and considerations to keep in mind when managing their county’s budget.

The session was taught by Carroll County Director of Management & Budget Ted Zaleski and moderated by Prince George’s County Council Member Dannielle Glaros.

Zaleski explained the importance of considering both a county’s forward-thinking budget as well as the backwards-looking Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). In doing so, Zaleski explained you are able to know “where you’ve been and where you want to go.” He also walked through the various parts of a county budget (general/operating, capital, enterprise, and special revenue) and explained the differences between some of the sources of revenue funding it like taxes, charges, and fees.

Importantly, both Zaleski and Glaros emphasized that a county’s budget is a policy document. Glaros said, “At the end of the day, the budget really is your set of priorities.” Zaleski added, “the budget matters to everyone, whether you’re providing services or you’re receiving them.”

The session was held on August 18, 2021, at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a volunteer certificate program for elected and appointed county and municipal officials. The program provides a strong background of necessary skills and knowledge for local government leaders. It was founded by MACo and MML, and is facilitated by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: