Saturday, October 10, 2009

Budget cut plans

We submitted our plans to the budget office last night, to cut the state appropriation by 30% starting in January. These are still just recommendations to the Governor, so until they are made public, we are not at liberty to discuss the details. But we did follow closely the recommendations of the external panel that convened last Tuesday to review all AZGS programs and operations. The panel met with program managers, reviewed the last four years of work by the Survey, and considered the results of the online survey of programs that so many of you filled out.

AZGS Extension Service chief Mike Conway has compiled the results of the more than 200 surveys completed and shown how each program fared in pie diagrams [right, an example of the poll results on the Bedrock Geologic Mapping Program].

We'll post the decisions of the Governor's budget office when they are made public, which is expected to happen quickly.

Thanks to all of you who took the poll and the surprising number of folks who added comments, suggests, and ideas. We'll be following up on these in the coming days.

I also want to thank the external panel members who took a day out of their already busy schedules to give us the benefits of their experience and expertise: Bill Greenslade, chair, representing the Arizona Chapter of AIPG; Ken Fergason, with AMEC, representing the Arizona Section of Association of Engineering & Environmental Geologists; Kevin Horstman, consultant and president of the Arizona Geological Society; Alan Dulaney, City of Peoria and president of the Arizona Hydrologic Society; Steve Trussell, executive director of the Arizona Rock Products Association, Eric Mears, Brown & Caldwell; Don Hammer, consultant; Wes Ward, retired USGS; and Dick Ahern, US Forest Service. They did a remarkable job sythesizing a lot of information and invaluable guidance.

We've all been heartened with the community involvement in helping us make some very difficult decisions. In the end, we hope we will have taken the actions that will be in the best interests of our stakeholders, the citizens of Arizona, and the State.

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