Due to the world-wide financial uncertainty the past two years, these are particularly challenging times for a municipality to prepare and adopt a budget. In many ways, our financial position is dependent upon the world’s prosperity since so many of our key revenue categories are economy-sensitive. In spite of this destiny, we must remain focused upon providing solid and consistent basic service delivery levels that our citizens believe are desirable and/or needed, and for which they are willing to pay. It is not a time to panic or turn our backs on what it took to get us to today. However, it is a time for us to reexamine our priorities and continue an open and respectful dialogue of what levels of local government service should be planned and provided for Lower Merion.
To be successful in today’s world of municipal government, it takes hard work and unwavering dedication by all of us – the fourteen-member Board of Commissioners, our management staff, our solid rank-and-file workforce, our many volunteers and other giving citizens.
Our exceptional senior management team remains united and dedicated to producing excellence in everything they do. They support all of us in an impressive manner each and every day, and often long into the night with the increasingly long and frequent public meetings that are held. It is an honor and privilege to lead this group; it represents the single greatest satisfaction I receive in serving as your Township Manager.
I am also, of course, very proud of our award-winning annual budget document and our distinction of holding the longest consecutive “streak” – 20 years – of any municipality in Pennsylvania in receiving the Government Finance Officers Association’s award for Distinguished Budget Presentation. We will submit this 2010 Proposed Budget document in pursuit of our twenty-first consecutive award.
Despite recent negativity from the financial strain, the Township’s future is promising. Our Board of Commissioners night meetings are longer than ever before as they grapple with key policy decisions to shape our future. The Township staff is busier than ever, as can be seen by the many initiatives accomplished in 2009 and planned for in 2010 (noted throughout the document in the Departmental Budget pages).
A new feature included in this 2010 Proposed Budget is a list of Awards and Special Recognition accomplishments by Township Departments in 2009.
In closing, I thank our entire workforce, whose cost-conscious efforts and insightful communications are well-reflected throughout this budget document. High praise is expressed for the continuing professionalism and caring performance of our Finance Department, Information Services Department, Township Manager’s Office, Public Information Office, and Public Works Administration Division, who once again have worked together to produce comprehensive, high-quality documents for our Proposed 2010 Budget and six-year 2010-2015 Capital Improvement Plan (prepared and distributed under separate cover).
Douglas S. Cleland