In a standing-room-only meeting, department employees and supporters flooded the Cumberland County courthouse. They came to listen to the appeals of county directors as they presented compromises to commissoners to the mandated 18 percent cutback.
"I don't think they are closing the doors at this point. I really think they are sincerely wanting to hear from all departments," says health director Janey Lindbloom.
Next year's proposed budget would eliminate school nurses, cut library hours and programs and put fewer sheriff's deputies on the streets -- all to avoid raising taxes. The county manager calls it the worst budget situation he has ever seen. County commissioners say the problems with the budget are the result of approved school and library bond issues dating back to 1992.
"It's somewhat akin to a charge card bill. Sooner or later, the bills come in," she says.
The county's final budget will be presented on June 4.
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