Board Priorities for the Community
The Board of Supervisors has established priorities for the community: public safety, education, economic development, infrastructure, and service excellence, all encompassed by fiscal responsibility and reducing the tax burden.
Bond Ratings – We currently have an AAA rating from both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s. In 2017, we received an upgrade to a positive outlook from Moody’s. Our Moody’s rating is Aa+, one level below an AAA. We are Aa+ (one notch away from triple-A) with a positive outlook from Moody's. In 2017, we received the positive outlook. Our bond ratings are the results of deliberate and strategic financial practices to enable us to improve our ratings, which allow us to borrow money for capital projects with lower interest rates.
Five-Year Budget Outlook - The County engaged in a more robust five-year financial planning process than in previous years. This outlook highlights long-term implications of financial decisions and more closely links the 10-year Capital Improvement Program with the annual budget process. It creates a framework within which the fiscal year’s budget development takes place. The planning process connects Board priorities to resources and provides direction to staff.
Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center Profit-Sharing Receipt – The Jeff Rouse Swim and Sport Center had a soft opening in March 2016. The center is Stafford’s first true public/private partnership with Eastern Sports Management. Due to better than expected financial returns and membership gains, they were able to absorb their initial startup costs, establish operating and capital reserves, and post a profit, which was shared with Stafford per the partnership agreement. They accomplished this by the end of 2017, well ahead of their initial projections.
Armed Services Memorial – Stafford opened its $835,000 Armed Services Memorial in the summer of 2017. The memorial honors those who have paid the ultimate price, are serving, have served and their families. Situated to the rear of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, the memorial was designed from the ideas of high school students who participated in a contest. A group of citizen volunteers spearheaded the fundraising and met their goal in less than a year. The memorial is a destination for schoolchildren, families and has even been the backdrop for many weddings.
Employee Climate Survey – Stafford invests in its employees in many ways and works hard to retain them. The County conducted an extensive employee climate survey to evaluate employee opinions on everything from pay to communications to employee training. This information is being examined by volunteer employee groups to formulate how to implement the findings.
Comprehensive Online Permit Portal - Stafford has introduced an online permitting system, adding another offering to its network of online payments designed to streamline services for citizens and patrons. “Dynamic Portal,” an online application system, has been integrated with Stafford’s electronic plan review software, ePlans, to allow patrons to pull permits, have plans reviewed and schedule inspections from their computer or smartphones.
Animal Shelter – Stafford opened a new Animal Shelter on June 19, 2018, that tripled the space of the former shelter, from 6,000 square feet to around 17,400 square feet. The new shelter provides space to house more animals in improved conditions, enabling Animal Control to find homes for increased numbers of animals. Other features include an area for prospective pet owners to interact with animals before adopting and an enhanced veterinary area.
Joint Capital Improvement Program Process – Members of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board, came together this year to work on the ten-year Capital Improvement Program together. Previously, the plans were made separately. Now, the boards do them together and match up projects with funding in a more streamlined and efficient manner.