2016 State of the County Address
Promises made, promises kept
Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann delivered his annual State of the County address at the recent County Board meeting. In his address, Schoemann reviewed the County’s accomplishments from 2015-2016 and forecasted year 2016 and beyond.
According to Schoemann, the top 5 accomplishments of 2015-2016 are as follows:
1. The property tax burden hitting historically low levels, including the lowest County levy in 12 years and lowest property tax rate in a ½ century;
2. The Washington – Ozaukee Public Health Department merger;
3. Completion of strategic planning and priority-based budgeting kick-off;
4. Construction of Washington County Fair Park’s “Silver Lining Amphitheater;” and
5. The Government Center being renamed and dedicated to former County Board Chair, Herb Tennies in appreciation for his 50 years of service to Washington County.
In addition, Schoemann listed the reduction of the County Board size (30-26) and the change in committee structures to provide efficiencies and compliment the shift from a County Committee to County Administrator form of government as other important accomplishments.
For 2016 and beyond, Schoemann hopes to continue to develop the County’s comprehensive strategy to “Inspire a Shared Vision.” In so doing, he outlined 4 goals for 4 years through the County’s commitment to priority-based budgeting, shared services, and fiscal responsibility.
Schoemann’s 4 goals in 4 years include:
1. Reducing the annual budget deficit;
2. Replenishing the health insurance fund;
3. Creating the capacity for pay plan study/implementation; and
4. Holding or reducing the tax levy &/or mill rate.
Staying consistent with those themes, Schoemann listed the 2017 budget goals to include:
· Maintaining the current tax rate;
· Reducing or eliminating the need to access the fund balance to balance the budget;
· Replenishing the health insurance fund balance; and
· A 3rd consecutive pay-plan adjustment.
Schoemann will be making his State of the County Address throughout the County in the coming weeks. For questions, please contact 262-306-2200.