Commissioners discuss budget direction for next few years

Sedgwick County commissioners are meeting this morning to discuss the county’s financial plan through 2016.

Spending and revenue are out of whack, county leaders say. Earlier, management set August 2012 as the deadline for “bending the curve,” or changing the way the county operates.

Commissioner Richard Ranzau said he wants to see the county reduce its deficit this year and not wait until next year to make changes.

Budget director David Miller told commissioners that “even with sizable growth, we’re still looking at serious fund balance deficits.”

Commissioners are discussing their spending priorities during a half-day retreat.

County manager William Buchanan stressed that although the county needs to take action to reverse the financial picture, it has time to do so in a thoughtful way.

“We need not panic,” Buchanan said.