The Thursday, May 18 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is one of the most important meetings of the year for county residents – that’s the meeting when Guilford County Manager Mike Halford will make his fiscal 2023-2024 budget recommendation to the board.

The commissioners always make some changes to the manager’s recommended budget before approving a final budget in June. However, every year, the manager’s proposed budget forms the corpus of the county’s spending for the following 12 months.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston has been in consultation with Halford for months, and Alston has also made it known publicly that he won’t support a tax increase this year – so no one should expect to see one in the proposed budget.

At the May 18 board meeting, the commissioners will listen to the manager’s budget message and see the proposed budget for the first time. However, the commissioners traditionally make no comment on that budget at the meeting when it’s presented.

The manager’s budget will be filed with the Clerk to the Board for public inspection and of course posted on the web.

The commissioners  will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Thursday, June 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House at 301 W. Market St. in Greensboro.  Usually, speakers have two minutes to voice their opinions.

For months, Guilford County department heads have been meeting with Halford to let him know their needs – and Halford has certainly been very generous with taxpayer dollars in the past when it comes to funding those requests.

Halford and the commissioners have also heard from the staff on department needs and the Board of Commissioners held preliminary budget discussions at a work sessions in March and April.  The county officials also received input from county residents at four Budget Town Halls that were held around the county.

The commissioners are expected to hold a final budget work session in early June and adopt a budget on Thursday, June 15.

That will happen if at least five of the nine commissioners can agree on a final budget.  There will also be a whole lot of horse trading going on behind the scenes as June 15 approaches.