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Article 25 - Financial Procedures - Charter


Section 2501. Fiscal year.
  2502 Preparation of proposed tentative operation and maintenance budget.
  2503. Tentative budget and capital program by county executive.
  2504 Preparation of proposed tentative capital budget program.
  2505 Fund balance.
  2506. Revenue and certain expense projections reviewed.
  2507 Budget controls.
  2508. Adoption of budget.
  2509. Levy of taxes.
  2510. Appropriations; supplemental and emergency.
  2511. Appropriations; reductions and transfers after budget adoption.
  2512. Certain resolutions of county Legislature subject to county executive veto.
  2513. Certain obligations and payments prohibited.
  2514. Erie county budget act repealed.
  2515. Limitation on county real estate taxes.
  2516. Imposition and increases in other county taxes and fees.
  2517. Audit committee.
  2518. The Citizens' Budget Review Commission.

Section 2501. Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the county shall begin with the first day of January and end with the last day of December in each year.

Section 2502. Preparation of proposed tentative operation and maintenance budget.

  1. Submission of estimates and appropriation requests. On or before the fifteenth day of August in each year, or such earlier date as the budget director may prescribe, the head of each administrative unit authorized agency shall furnish to the budget director an estimate of revenues and expenditures for the respective administrative unit or authorized agency for the next ensuing fiscal year, exclusive of capital projects. Each estimate shall show the sources of revenues and the character and object of expenditures, which may be subclassified by functions and activities. Estimates shall be submitted in such form and shall contain such additional information as the budget director shall prescribe; provided that the estimate of expenditures shall constitute or be accompanied by a request for an appropriation. All information used in creating revenue estimates shall be submitted to the comptroller by the 1st day of October in each fiscal year.
  2. Periodically, the specific format of the budget and its required contents shall be submitted to the legislature for review and comment. Such submission shall be made at least once in any two year period.
  3. There shall be made available for publication listing of all activity and program-related evaluations performed in the previous two years with guidance indicating the manner in which the public can gain access to the full text of such studies.
  4. All capital budget items shall include justifications based on return on investment, leverage of other revenue sources, payback period, impact on credit rating, relative value in reducing operating or capital costs, or other such appropriate measures typically utilized to justify and prioritize such expenditures.
  5. The budget director annually, not less than twenty days prior to the date fixed pursuant to paragraph a. of this section, shall notify in writing the head of each administrative unit, and of each authorized agency receiving county funds pursuant to contract or otherwise during the current fiscal year, of (1) the date fixed pursuant to said paragraph a. and (2) the form and information to be contained in such estimate and request.
  6. In the event that the head of any administrative unit fails to submit an estimate by the date specified, the budget director shall forthwith prepare such estimate.
  7. The budget director, upon receipt of the estimates and requests for appropriations, shall proceed to make such review and investigation and conduct such hearings thereon as are deemed necessary. The budget director may require the head of each administrative unit or any officer or employee thereof and any authorized agency requesting county funds to furnish data and information and answer inquiries pertinent to such review or investigation. All information used in creating revenue estimates shall be shared with the comptroller.
  8. Upon the completion of the review and investigation of the estimates and requests from the various administrative units and authorized agencies, the budget director shall prepare and submit to the county executive a proposed tentative operation and maintenance budget setting forth the budget director's estimate of expenditures and revenues of the county for the next ensuing fiscal year showing a comparison with (1) the corresponding actual expenditures and revenues in the last completed fiscal year, (2) the corresponding budget items of expenditure and revenue for the current fiscal year adjusted for transfers and changes in appropriations, if any, and (3) the estimates of expenditures and revenues for the ensuing fiscal year submitted by the heads of administrative units and authorized agencies.

Added by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2503. Tentative budget and capital program by county executive. On or before the 15th day of October of each year the county executive shall submit to the county legislature a tentative budget for the ensuing fiscal year, a financial forecast for the two (2) subsequent years, a capital program for the next six (6) fiscal years, and an accompanying message.

  • Intent. It is essential that the proposed and adopted budgets be presented in a form which is both usable and understandable by the citizens of the County. In furtherance of this public goal, the tentative budget and capital program presented under this section, and any appropriations acts and amendments made pursuant thereto, shall contain the following information;
  1. Transparency: The entire budget document, both tentative and adopted, shall be prepared in a manner and with language that can be easily understood by the citizens of Erie County. Such document shall also be placed on the Internet to provide easy access by the public.
  2. Programmatic Budget. The entire budget document both tentative and adopted shall contain a separate statement organized by department or office of the individual programs conducted or supported or functions carried out by each such department or office. Such statement shall set forth, for each individual program, the major goals and objectives, a description of the need for the program, including whether mandated or discretionary, and specific outcomes related to proposed and approved expenditures for each program or function. The statement shall also include a description of the alternatives to each such program or function which were considered prior to the formulation of the submitted proposal and a detailing of the activities to be carried out, services to be supplied to the citizens of Erie County, and the functions to be performed by the individual program or function.
  3. Quantification: Program measures and performance standards to be used in monitoring and evaluating the delivery of services, including the specification of appropriate evaluation cycles and milestones, and a description of the manner in which the citizens of the County will be able to obtain access to the results of such monitoring and evaluations.
  4. Cost Accounting, with unit cost information: The entire budget document, both tentative and proposed shall include a clear and detailed description of the expenses to be incurred by each such individual program and function, including the cost of all county facilities to be utilized, so that a true cost accounting of the program will be obtained in order to facilitate unit cost assessment of the program in terms of units of service provided. In addition, the document shall include a clear and detailed presentation of the proposed sources of funding for such programs or functions, including the amounts to be funded directly by county appropriations, other governmental grants, reimbursements or contributions, and revenues raised directly as a result of program activity.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2504. Preparation of proposed tentative capital budget and program.

  1. Submission of capital project requests. On or before the fifteenth day of July, or such earlier date as the budget director may prescribe, the head of each administrative unit, including independently elected officials, shall furnish to the budget director and to the commissioner of environment a planning a description, justification and estimate for each physical public improvement of works, hereinafter called capital project, which is proposed for development during one or more of the ensuing six fiscal years. Each capital project request shall show: recommended priority; development; time schedule; estimated costs for planning, site of right of way, construction, equipment and other features; status of plans and land acquisition; anticipated effect of project on annual operating budget; possible sources of financial aid; recommended expenditures by years; and such other information as the budget director and commissioner of environment and planning may deem advisable.
  2. Capital projects committee. To assist in the consideration of capital projects and the capital program, there shall be a capital projects committee consisting of the county executive, the comptroller, the budget director, the commissioner of thedepartment of environment and planning, the county attorney and such other administrative heads as the county executive may designate, and the followingmembers of the county legislature; the chair, the chair of the finance and management committee, and the majority and minority leaders. The county executive shall be solely responsible for the capital program and budget as submitted to the county legislature and no members of the latter body shall be
    obliged to support any project by reason of membership on the capital projects committee. The county executive shall be the chair and the budget director shall be the vice chair of this committee.

  3. Upon receiving a capital project request, the commissioner of environment and planning shall study the same with special references to comprehensive plans for the county and for any affected municipality therein.
    The commissioner of environment and planning shall promptly forward any such comments and recommendations regarding the proposed project to the budget director who shall submit the same, together with his or her own comments and recommendations to the capital projects committee and the development coordination board. The capital projects committee shall proceed to consider all requested capital projects, and for such purpose shall meet in the period between April fifteen and August fifteen at least twice, and as more often as may be required at the call of the chairman or vice chairman.
  4. The development coordination board shall make such recommendations to the county executive in regard to the scope of the capital program, the relative priorities of proposed projects and suggested means of financing as its membership may determine. At the request of the county executive, joint meetings of the capital projects committee and the development coordination board shall be held.
  5. The budget director and deputy commissioner of environment and planning shall assist the development coordination board by presenting and explaining all capital project requests and shall furnish all relevant exhibits and information. The department of environment and planning shall also assist in the preparation of the capital improvement program report and all related information.
  6. Proposed capital program. On or before the fifteenth day of August, the budget director, after receiving the advice of the capital projects committee, shall prepare and submit to the county executive a proposed capital program for the next six fiscal years, showing the purpose and amount of recommended capital expenditures by years, the suggested methods of financing, and the estimated effect of such program on future budgets with respect to operating, maintenance, debt service and other costs.
  7. Proposed tentative capital budget. The first year of the proposed capital program, covering the next ensuing fiscal year, shall be incorporated by the budget director in a proposed tentative capital budget for such year. Such capital budget shall indicate debt service charges of previous projects, proposed down payments and other expenditures for new projects, and the recommended sources of all proposed capital financing including, but not limited to, capital reserve fund, sinking funds, current revenues, temporary borrowing, bond sales, federal and state grants, loans or advances. The proposed tentative capital budget shall not contain any capital debt for the purpose of paying salaries, utilities, supplies or other recurring operating expenses, unless authorized under New York State Law.

Added by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2505. Fund balance.

  1. In presenting the tentative budget, the county executive shall report on the amount of the balance contained in the General Fund including non-spendable, restricted, committed, assigned or unrestricted funds. Such report for each fund shall be current as of the County’s last audited financial statements.

  2. The county shall maintain an unassigned balance in the General Fund equal to or greater than five percent of the amount contained in the adopted budget of the General Fund of the County’s last audited financial statements. For purposes of this section, the total General Fund calculation shall not include sales and compensating use tax revenues shared with local governments and school districts. Fund balance may be included as revenue in an approved budget of the General Fund provided that there shall remain an unassigned balance of at least five percent as provided in the first sentence of this paragraph.

  3. If the proposed county budget appropriates unassigned fund balance in the General Fund reducing the unassigned General Fund fund balance below five percent as described in subsection (b), the county executive shall present a separate resolution to the county Legislature parallel with the proposed county budget requesting approval of the appropriation. The county may only approve unassigned General Fund fund balance below the five percent level upon a
    majority vote of the county legislature. A budget that is approved without a vote of the county legislature shall not appropriate any fund balance revenue in the General Fund in excess of the amount provided in this subsection. The county executive’s tentative budget shall indicate equivalent deletions in the tentative budget that shall be executed if the use of fund balance permitted by this paragraph is not approved by the county legislature.

  4. Following approval of the annual budget, no additional unassigned General Fund fund balance shall be appropriated as revenue during the fiscal year without the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the total membership of the county legislature.

Added by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2506. Revenue and certain expense projections reviewed.

On or before the 1st day of October the county executive shall submit to the comptroller all revenue estimates and expenditure estimates for Medicaid, public assistance, and pension contributions and health care insurance costs for county employees to be used in the proposed budget. The comptroller shall review all revenue estimates and expenditure estimates for Medicaid, public assistance and pension contributions and health care insurance costs for county employees to be used in the proposed tentative budget prepared by the county executive and submit to the legislature in writing by the 15th of October a report indicating whether or not such estimates are suitable estimates for the upcoming fiscal year. Should the comptroller determine that any such revenue or expenditure estimate is not suitable for the upcoming fiscal year, the Legislature, upon notice from the comptroller may revise any such revenue estimate downward upon a two-thirds majority vote and may revise any such expenditure estimate upward by a majority vote. The legislature shall not revise any such revenue estimate upward.

Added by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2507. Budget controls.

  1. No county officer, employee, department or other administrative unit or subdivision thereof, or other spending agency shall, during a fiscal year, expend or contract to expend any money or incur any liability, or enter into any contract which, by its terms, involves the expenditure of money for any of the purposes for which provision is made in the budget in excess of the amounts appropriated for such fiscal year or for any other purpose, except as otherwise provided in this code or the local finance law. If one or more of the independently elected officials (clerk, comptroller, district attorney, sheriff) becomes aware of a deficit or impending deficit in his or her department, he or she shall notify the legislature immediately so that, subject to section 2510 of this charter, remedial action can be taken. The unexpended balance of each appropriation, less the commitments outstanding at the close of the fiscal year for which it was made, shall lapse at the close of such fiscal year; provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to require the lapsing of appropriations which may be or are required to be made for an indefinite period or which include state refunds, allocations or grants applicable to said appropriations pursuant to any other provisions of law; and provided further that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the making of appropriations or contracts for the construction of permanent public improvements or works not to be completed during the fiscal year, or the acquisition of property therefor, or the establishment of bond or capital accounts, sinking funds or reserve funds, and each such appropriation, account or fund shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made shall have been accomplished or shall have been abandoned by a two thirds vote of the county legislature. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this section shall be null and void.
  2. The county executive shall maintain control at all times over the expenditures of every department or other administrative unit, officer, employee and financial activity of the county, except for the departments overseen by the independently elected officials (clerk, comptroller, district attorney and sheriff) who shall have the power to manage their departments within the parameters of the adopted budget. For such purpose, the county executive may, among other things, prescribe quotas and allotments, and no department or other administrative unit, officer, employee or financial activity of the county, except for the independently elected officials (clerk, comptroller, district attorney and sheriff), shall encumber its appropriation in an amount in excess of that allowed by any quota or allotment so prescribed. The county executive may request that the legislature impose quotas, allotments or other cost control measures on the independently elected officials (clerk, comptroller, district attorney and sheriff) if the need arises. The legislature shall by resolution impose quotas, allotments or other cost control measures with a simple majority vote.

Added by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2508. Adoption of budget.

  1. The county legislature after one or more public hearings thereon, may strike items of appropriation from the tentative budget or reduce items therein, excepting appropriations required by law or for debt service. The county legislature after one or more hearings, may add items to or increase items in such budget, provided that such additions or increases are stated separately and distinctly. Decreases shall not require executive approval.

    The report of the budget committee to the county legislature concerning amendments to the county executive's tentative budget shall be presented to the legislature and laid on the table at least forty eight hours prior to the annual meeting for budget adoption as prescribed in this section.

    Budget amendments proposed subsequent to the tabling of the budget committee report, or less than forty eight hours prior to the annual meeting, shall be considered separately with each line item voted on individually on the floor of the legislature.

  2. If the budget is passed by the county legislature with no additions or increases, such budget shall be deemed to have been adopted without any further action by the county executive; if, however, the budget as passed by the county legislature contains any such additions or increases, the same shall be presented by the clerk of the legislature to the county executive not later than the Wednesday following the first Tuesday in December, for his or her consideration of such additions or increases. If the county executive approves all additions and increases, he or she shall affix his or her signature to a statement thereof and return the budget and such statement to the clerk of the legislature. The budget, including the additions and increases as part thereof, shall then be deemed adopted.
  3. The county executive may object to any one or more of such added or increased items, and in such case shall append to the budget a statement of the added or increased items to which he or she objects with the reasons for his or her objections, and shall return the budget with his or her objections to the clerk of the county legislature who shall present the same to the county Legislature on or before the Monday preceding the second Tuesday in December. The county legislature shall thereupon enter the objections upon its journal and proceed to reconsider the additions and increases so objected to. If upon such reconsideration two thirds of all members of the county legislature vote to approve such additions and increases, or any of them, the budget with any additions and increases so approved, together with any additions and increases not so objected to by the county executive, shall be deemed adopted.
  4. If a budget with additions or increases is not returned by the county executive to the clerk of the legislature with his or her objections on or before the Monday preceding the second Tuesday in December, it shall be deemed adopted.
  5. If a budget has not been adopted, as herein provided, on or before the second Tuesday of December in each year, then the tentative budget as submitted by the county executive, plus all additions and increases to which he or she has failed to object, shall be the budget for the ensuing fiscal year.
  6. Four copies of the budget as adopted shall be certified by the county executive and by the clerk of the county legislature. One such copy shall be filed in the office of the county executive, and one each in the offices of the county comptroller, the commissioner of finance and the clerk of the county legislature. The budget as so certified shall be printed or otherwise reproduced and copies shall be made available.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2509. Levy of taxes; inclusion of reserve for uncollected taxes; county tax act continued. The net county tax requirement, determined by subtracting the total estimated revenues from the total proposed expenditures as set forth in the adopted budget, shall be levied in advance by the county legislature on the taxable real property of the several tax districts of the county. The tax levy for state and county purposes shall include, in addition to the amount of state taxes to be raised and the net county tax requirement as above determined, an amount to be known as "reserve for uncollected taxes" which shall be a county charge. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the Erie county tax act, being chapter eight hundred twelve of the laws of nineteen hundred forty two as amended, shall remain in full force and effect.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2510. Appropriations; supplemental and emergency.

Supplemental appropriations. If during any fiscal year there are available revenues not anticipated in the budget for that year, the county executive may make supplemental appropriations, subject to legislative approval, for that year, up to the amount of such additional revenues.

Emergency Appropriations. To meet a public emergency affecting life, health or property, the county legislature may make emergency appropriations. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the county legislature may authorize the issuance of budget notes or notes in anticipation of the collection of taxes or revenues.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2511. Appropriations; reductions and transfer after budget adoption.

Intent: it is determined that the maintenance of a balanced budget throughout the county's fiscal year is critical to the fiscal integrity of the county and is thus an important public objective. To this end, the county executive shall recommend to the legislature budgetary adjustments as are necessary to maintain a balanced budget on an ongoing basis.

If at any time during the fiscal year it appears, from cash flow projections or other generally accepted accounting principles, that the revenues available, as projected through the end of the fiscal year, will be insufficient to meet either (a) the amounts appropriated, or (b) expenses anticipated to be incurred through the end of the fiscal year, such that the cumulative effect thereof is a projected year-end deficit in excess of fifty percent of the county's undesignated, unreserved fund balance as of the end of the immediately preceding fiscal year, the county executive or the comptroller shall submit a report to the legislature setting forth the estimated amount of the deficit with appropriate details and explanations. Within seven days of the submission of such a report to the legislature, the county executive shall present a written proposal of actual remedies to overcome the deficit. The comptroller shall provide the legislature with written comments on the county executive's proposed actions within seven days of the submission of the remedial proposal to the legislature. The legislature shall take under consideration the proposed remedial actions and comments presented by the comptroller and take such action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize the deficit. Should the legislature fail to act within twenty-one days of presentation of the written proposal of remedial actions by the county executive, the county executive's proposal shall be deemed adopted. In the event the deficit is declared and remedial actions are taken by the county executive and/ or the legislature, no appropriation for debt service may be reduced and no appropriation may be reduced by more than the unencumbered balance thereof or below any amount required to be appropriated.

The county executive may at any time during the fiscal year transfer part or all of the unencumbered appropriation balance between classifications of expenditures within the same administrative unit, provided that prior approval by resolution of the county legislature shall be required if the proposed transfer (1) would result in an increase exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or such larger amount as may be prescribed by local law, during the fiscal year in any one line item in the budget as adopted, or (2) would affect any salary rate or salary total. If the county executive requests in writing, the county legislature by resolution effective immediately may transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance from one county administrative unit to another. But no transfer shall be made from appropriations for debt service, and no appropriation may be reduced below any amount required by law to be appropriated. On or before the 15th day of the following month the county executive shall provide the legislature a monthly report of all transfers made pursuant to this section.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2512. Certain resolutions of county legislature subject to executive veto. A resolution of the county legislature for any of the following specified purposes shall be submitted to the county executive for his or her approval or veto in the same manner as provided in this charter for the adoption of ordinances: (a) an allocation from the budget contingency fund; (b) a supplemental or emergency appropriation; (c) the issuance of budget notes or notes in anticipation of the collection of taxes or revenues; and (d) the issuance of bonds, anticipation notes or capital notes.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2513. Certain obligations and payments prohibited. No payment shall be authorized or made and no obligation incurred against the county except in accordance with appropriations duly made, or except as permitted otherwise by the local financed law; provided that this shall not be construed to prevent contracting for capital improvements to be financed by borrowing, or entering into any lawful contract or lease providing for the payment of funds beyond the end of the current fiscal year.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2514. Erie county budget act repealed. the Erie county budget act, being chapter three hundred eighty three of the laws of nineteen hundred forty four as amended, is hereby repealed as of January first, nineteen hundred sixty one.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2515. Limitation on county real estate taxes. Hereafter, the amount to be raised by tax on real estate in any fiscal year, in addition to providing for the interest on and the principal of all indebtedness, shall not exceed an amount equal to one per centum of the average full valuation of all of taxable real estate within the county, less the amount to be raised by tax on real estate in such year for the payment of the interest on and redemption of certificates or other evidence of indebtedness described in paragraphs A & D of section five of article eight of the constitution of the state of New York.

The average full valuation of taxable real estate shall be determined pursuant to section ten of article eight of the constitution of the state of New York.

Section 2516. Imposition and increases in the other county taxes and fees. Hereafter, no new form of county tax maybe imposed, and the county of Erie's three per centum sales and use tax and fees or charges established by the county legislature shall not be increased except by a resolution approved by: (a) the affirmative vote of two thirds of the whole number of the membership of the county legislature, or, (b) the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of the membership of the county legislature submitting a proposition for such imposition or increase to a mandatory referendum to be held pursuant to article three of the county law.

Section 2517. Audit committee

  1. There is hereby created and established an audit committee for the county of Erie consisting of the following five members appointed for the following terms:
    1. One majority member of the county legislature to be appointed annually by the majority members of the Legislature.
    2. One minority member of the county legislature to be appointed annually by the minority members of the Legislature.
    3. The county legislature shall consider at least three qualified candidates which have been recommended by the Erie county bar association and shall initially appoint one of these nominees for a one year term. Thereafter, and at the expiration of the term of the initial appointee, the appointment shall be made for a term of three years.
    4. The county legislature shall consider at least three qualified candidates which have been recommended by the western New York chapter of the New York state association of certified public accountants and shall initially appoint one of these nominees for a two year term. Thereafter, and at the expiration of the term of the initial appointee, the appointment shall be made for a term of three years.
    5. The county legislature shall consider at least three qualified candidates which have been recommended by the commercial bank located within Erie County and shall initially appoint one of these nominees for a three year term. Should fewer that three such candidates be recommended by commercial banks, the legislature may add a resident of Erie County who has demonstrable expertise in commercial banking industry to the list of nominees. Thereafter, and at the expiration of the term of the initial appointee, the appointment shall be made for a term of three years.
    6. With the exception of the legislative members, no appointee may serve for more than two consecutive terms. Each appointee may be removed only for cause by the respective appointing authorities. Vacancies shall be filled by members appointed by whomever make the initial appointment. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the duration of the expired term.
  2. The members of the audit committee shall annually elect their own officers. Members of the county legislature shall not be eligible to hold such offices. The audit committee shall meet at least four times a year and shall maintain recorded minutes of all of its meetings.
  3. The audit committee shall be responsible for issuing requests for proposals from certified public accounting firms for the preparation of an annual audit report and accompanying management letter for the county of Erie and an annual report and accompanying management letter for the Erie community college. The audit committee may issue a request for proposal (RFP) to have the same certified public accounting firm contract with the county of Erie for two or all four of the aforementioned audit reports and management letters, or it may issue a separate RFP for each of the four aforementioned audit reports and accompanying management letters. Any request for proposal issued by the audit committee shall be in writing and shall be widely distributed among certified public accounting firms. Such requests for proposals shall contain all pertinent information concerning each proposed audit report and management letter contract, including the date upon which the contract is to commence, a description of the work to be performed, any particular or unique specifications required, the fiscal year(s) for which the audit reports and the management letter(s) are to be prepared and the date(s) by which the audit report(s) and accompanying management letters shall be completed and formally submitted to the county legislature and county executive.

    The audit committee shall review and evaluate the responses to each RFP it issues and it shall prepare in writing a comparison of all certified public accounting firms which responded showing (a) what special skill or service will be provided; (b) the qualifications of the firm; (c) the expertise of the firm; and (d) the total estimated cost, or rate for providing services. The audit committee shall prepare a written report on the results of each RFP it issues. Such report shall be submitted to the clerk of the county legislature at least three months prior to the commencement of the proposed annual audit and management letter contract and it shall contain the results of the audit committee's evaluation of all responses to the RFP, as well as the name of the certified public accounting firm which it is recommending to perform the proposed audit report and management letter contract.

    The audit committee shall be responsible for meeting with the certified public accounting firm(s) which are awarded audit and management letter contract(s) for the county of Erie and the Erie community college to discuss in detail the scope of such contracts and all matters related to them.

    Within forty-five days of the publication of a finalized audit report and accompanying management letter, the audit committee shall submit to the county executive and the county legislature a written report containing its findings, comments and recommendations with respect to each such report.

    The audit committee shall be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the recommendations which are contained in the management letters that are issued for the county of Erie and the Erie community college.

Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.

Section 2518(a). The Citizens’ Budget Review Commission.
The citizens’ budget review Commission shall be established to assist and advise the erie county legislature in the oversight of the county’s budget and to monitor county finances, ensure the long-term fiscal stability of erie county, prevent the concealment of county deficits, and to help provide the Legislature with enough time and information to respond to budgetary problems. Upon the adoption of this Local Law the Erie County Legislature hereby creates a Citizens’ Budget Review Commission of Erie County to be established on or before March 15, 2005.

Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Section 2518 (b). Commission Purview and Reporting.
The citizens’ budget review commission shall study the fiscal operations of the county of erie in their full scope. The Commission shall provide regular reports to the Legislature at the conclusion of each fiscal quarter, and shall submit an annual report, which shall include its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for appropriate budgetary action to the county Legislature. The Commission shall file its annual report with the erie county Legislature annually on or before October 15. 

Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Section 2518 (c). Membership; Terms; Vacancies.
The citizens’ budget review Commission shall be composed of eleven (11) voting members, who shall be residents of erie county. Except for the Commission member appointed by the county executive, the Legislature shall appoint, or confirm the recommendation for appointment, of the various Commission members as listed below:
a. One (1) member shall be recommended and appointed by the erie county executive.
b. One (1) member shall be recommended annually by the chair of the erie county Legislature and confirmed by the Legislature.
c. One (1) member shall be recommended annually by the majority leader on behalf of the majority members of the erie county Legislature and confirmed by the Legislature.
d. One (1) member shall be recommended annually by the minority leader on behalf of the minority members of the erie county Legislature and confirmed by the Legislature.
e. One (1) member shall be appointed who has professional experience as a certified public accountant.
f. One (1) member shall be appointed who has professional experience in the banking and finance industry.
g. One (1) member shall be appointed who is an attorney-at-law, particularly with experience in local government law and/or finance.
h. One (1) member shall be appointed who has professional experience with organized labor.
i. One (1) member shall be appointed from the Erie County business community.
j. Two (2) members shall be appointed by the erie county Legislature based upon recommendations from the public and shall be construed to represent a crosssection of the county’s diverse population and have a depth of appropriate experience and expertise.
k. The comptroller of the county of erie or his or her representative shall be an exofficio, non-voting member of the Commission.
l. The director of budget and management or his or her representative shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Commission.
m. The erie county attorney or his or her representative shall be an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the Commission. With the exception of ex-officio members of the Commission, no member of the Commission shall hold public office, political office, be an employee of the county, nor be a member of another county board or commission during the term of his/her appointment to the citizens’ budget review Commission of erie county.

The term of office for all members of the Commission, with the exception of ex-officio members, shall be one (1) year. Such appointments may be renewed annually for up to five (5) years. Any vacancy resulting from a cause other than the expiration of a term shall be filled only for the unexpired portion of the term.

Members shall serve without compensation. Staff support shall be provided by the staff of the erie county Legislature under the direction of the clerk of the erie county Legislature. Additional technical or professional services support and assistance may be provided without compensation by volunteers and/or firms or organizations with appropriate expertise and knowledge. Only through and after a majority vote of the Commission’s voting membership may such volunteers or organizations assist the Commission.

Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Section 2518(d). Officers.
The Commission shall elect, from its membership (excluding ex-officio members), its own chair for a term of one year. The Commission shall also elect from its membership (excluding exofficio members), a vice-chair, who shall serve as chairperson in the chairperson’s absence. Finally, the Commission shall elect from its membership (excluding ex-officio members), a secretary, who shall serve to record the minutes of the Commission’s proceedings.

Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Section 2518 (e). Meetings.
The Commission shall hold quarterly public meetings to review the county’s finances, including year-to-date and year-end projections for the county budget. In addition to these quarterly public meetings, the citizens’ budget review Commission shall meet as needed to carry out its mission as established in this local law, as well as to carry out guidelines and work assignments subsequently requested by the erie county Legislature. All meetings of the Commission shall be subject to the open meetings law. However, nothing herein shall be construed to limit the ability of the Commission from meeting in executive session. Meetings shall be held on such days and at such hours so as to encourage the maximum amount of public awareness and shall beannounced to the public through the media. Minutes of the proceedings and records of the Commission shall be clocked-in to the erie county Legislature and are to be made available to the public for inspection during regular business hours.

Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Section 2518 (f). Powers of the Commission and Information Available to Commission.
The Commission shall have the power to make such studies and investigations into the county’s budget and finances as it deems to be in the best interest of the county. In connection therewith, the Commission shall have the power to obtain technical information, including monthly budget reports, relating to the county’s budget and finances from the comptroller of the county, the county executive, and his or her appointed director of budget and management, as well as to request witnesses and the production of books, papers and other evidence, deemed necessary or material to the study or inquiry of the county’s finances. In addition to any other information requested by the Commission, the Director of Budget and Management shall submit to the Commission monthly budget reports. Such reports shall be due on or before the last calendar day of the subsequent calendar month, and shall include a detailed report of budgeted or projected revenues and expenditures with actual and accrued revenues and expenditures, a comprehensive narrative commentary to explain and justify variances in budgeted and actual revenues and expenditures, and a year-end forecast showing projected gains and losses for the year, including the use of fund balance.

Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Section 2518 (g). Failure to Provide Timely Information.
Should the county executive, his or her appointed directr of budget and management, or anyone fail to provide information including but not limited to the budget reports requested in subsection(f) above, the chair of the Commission shall notify the clerk of the erie county Legislature and the chair of the erie county Legislature, in writing, and the Chair of the Legislature shall compel that such information be provided to the Commission by exercising the powers available to the Legislature, in particular those powers to subpoena and require the production of evidence as outlined in article 2, section 202, paragraph h of Local Law No.1-1959, as amended, constituting the Erie County Charter.

Added by Local Law No. 2-2005.
Amended by Local Law No. 3-2006.
Amended by Local Law No. 2-2012.

Article 25 was formerly numbered article 26, which was formerly numbered Article XVIII.