LAWRENCEVILLE -- A year ago, with the county in turmoil reeling from the loss of its chairman, officials released a budget proposal that had Gwinnett County $18 million in the red.
But Tuesday, newly elected Chairwoman Charlotte Nash plans to present a spending plan that is nearly balanced.
"The staff and the elected officials all have tightened things up one more time to help us top put together a budget that I think people will be please with," Nash said, revealing little about the plan before it will be formally presented to commissioners Tuesday. "It's very close to being balanced with current revenues."
Nash said the proposed 2012 budget will not call for a tax increase despite lean economic times. The total budget number has shrunk compared to 2011, she said, although she declined to give specifics until Tuesday.
At the beginning of 2011, before Nash's election, commissioners approved a budget that called for the spending of reserve funds. Cuts were made over the course of the year to keep that from happening, and Nash said she intends to keep working at the 2012 plan to balance it, despite another expected cut in revenues from declining property values.
As former county administrator, Nash played a role in Gwinnett's budgeting process for much of the 1990s and early 2000s.
"I had to remind myself my role was different," Nash said of going into this budget process as chairman, who recommends the spending plan. "But it was a great advantage to have as much knowledge as I did. ... It was, in lots of ways, a very comfortable thing for me to do. Times are tight, but the processes are the same."