More than 200 public officials from throughout Michigan attended
Oakland County’s Budget Symposium II on Nov. 8. Hosted by County Executive L.
Brooks Patterson at the Oakland Schools building in Waterford, executive
staff and others shared their best practices in order to help others
around the region facing budget challenges.
“We are recognized for some of the best budgeting practices and fiscal
policies of governments in the State of Michigan, if not America,”
Patterson said. “These practices, we hope, will start to bleed off into
some of our local communities.”
Those practices and policies have earned Oakland County a bond rating of
AAA from Wall Street every year since 1998. Moody’s Investors Service
wrote, “Everything about them [Oakland County] is stellar: From my
perspective, they are not just better than most counties, they are
better than all.”
In order to maintain its AAA bond rating, Oakland County’s Budget Task
Force forecasts economic and tax revenue issues that will impact the
county’s three-year budget years into the future. The county currently
is looking to 2016 and beyond.
“Our long-range outlook can spot a problem a couple years down the road,
and allows us to make adjustments now to minimize its impact on the
budget,” Patterson said.
Deputy County Executive Robert Daddow’s presentation “The Perfect
Storm,” which takes a sobering look at both Michigan’s economy and the
fiscal and budgetary concerns of both state and local governments in the
years to come, was among the first sessions.
Closing out the symposium, Deputy County Executive Gerald Poisson
summarized, “Pardon me for borrowing a phrase by Nike, ‘Just do it.’ Be
leaders, take action, and live within your means.”
You can access all the information from the symposium here.