Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CERT and the Budget "crunch time" .Three minutes CAN make a difference!

Hi folks,
The title of this post spells it out-it's budget "crunch time". The last dates for public hearings on the county fiscal year 2010 budget are next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This is our last chance to try and change opinion on the budget cut that will hurt OUR CERT program.

If you are interested in saying something about the CERT program and how the FY 2010 budget cuts will affect us, this is your chance. You can go to the county budget web page listed below and sign up to speak.

The board of supervisors' clerk I spoke with today estimates 20 people will be able to speak per hour. So, you will have three minutes in which to talk about what CERT means to you, your family and your community.
The dates available are listed below.

Sign Up to Speak at a Public Hearing at the Government Center:
  • March 30, 7 p.m. (*Note: Speakers list is full this day)
  • March 31, 3 p.m. (Schools presentation at 7 p.m.)
  • April 1, 3 p.m.
  • April 2, 3 p.m.
Remember, the county wants to cut the Management Analyst 2 position/CERT administrators' position out of the fire department budget. Doing this will damage our CERT program.
This action will leave one person in the fire department office of the volunteer liaison.

That one person left will have to manage the entire CERT program (over 500 CERTs) by themselves. That one person will ALSO be managing the administrative affairs of EVERY volunteer firefighter and EMS technician in the county (over 500 people total!) too.

One person, managing around 1000 people. Think about it.............

Below is the excerpt from the FY 2010 budget proposal regarding the cut that affects us. This page says it all.........

Remember, the Fairfax County CERT program is fully paid for with Department of Homeland Security federal grant money. One Management Analyst 2 position in the office of the volunteer liaison merely administers the CERT program. Fairfax County does not spend monies to fund the program itself.
We need more CERTs; we need the opportunity to train more CERTs, and we need continued support on the administrative side to train them effectively.

Three minutes of your time in speaking at the public budget hearings could help keep our CERT program in its' current form. The louder we are, the more inclined the board of supervisors will be in reconsidering this budget cut.

Three minutes can make a difference for all of us.

your volunteer PIO
speaker #109 at the March 31st budget hearing