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Since it was launched in June, more than 2,000 residents have taken the Dutchess County Budget Survey. Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro would like to see even more people share their input about the county programs and services most important to them and is reminding residents there are two weeks left to submit their survey. The Budget Survey is available online at the County’s website dutchessny.gov.
“We are very pleased with the number of surveys that have already been completed, but we would like to hear from even more residents before we have to close the survey and begin our analysis for use in our 2013 budget development process,” said County Executive Molinaro. “We know there are many difficult decisions ahead of us, so the feedback we get from residents is vital to the budget process.”
The goal of the budget survey is to give county residents a tool to weigh in on the budget development and educate the public about the budget process. It is designed to help county officials learn what services residents want and need and importantly, what their expectations are. It also serves as an educational tool providing residents with a snapshot of the programs and services provided by county government and how their tax dollars are spent to provide those services.
With Dutchess County Government continuing to face daunting fiscal challenges, county officials know that there will simply not be enough money next year to pay for all of the programs and services currently offered. Input from residents is needed to understand what their priorities are as final decisions for 2013.
The survey submission deadline was extended from the original July 31st date to August 31st to give as many residents as possible the opportunity to share their thoughts. The survey has been promoted extensively on the County’s website and as well as Dutchess County Government’s social media pages Facebook and Twitter. Many community and business organizations, including the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, have encouraged their members to take the survey. Local cable provider, Optimum, created public service announcements (PSA) featuring County Executive Molinaro to additionally promote the survey. The PSA has been running on multiple Optimum channels including CNN, Lifetime, MSNBC and Fox News. It can also be viewed here
Additionally, County Executive Molinaro and other county officials have encouraged people to take the budget survey at various events and meetings throughout the county. Family Services Inc., in partnership with the United Way, even provided the County with a Spanish version of the survey which is available in a PDF version on the County website.
The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete online. Survey results will be reviewed and utilized as final 2013 budget decisions are made before the November 1st release of the Executive budget. For those who do not have internet access or want to complete a paper survey, copies of the survey will be available by request at the Dutchess County Budget Office in the County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie or at Dutchess County Department of Motor Vehicle offices in Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Millbrook and Wappinger.
County Executive Molinaro concluded, “The feedback we have gotten so far has been extremely valuable. We want our residents to know how much we appreciate that they are taking the time to complete the survey and share their feedback. ”