For Hamilton County Commissioners President Mark Heirbrandt, it’s a matter of making sure taxpayers’ funds are being used wisely.
Hamilton County has hired KPMG to conduct efficiency studies of each county governmental office and department. The effort is led by county councilors Ken Alexander, Amy Massillamany and Fred Glynn, along with Heirbrandt.
“This is just another way to make sure we’re providing the level of service needed, and understanding if there are deficiencies, how we’re going to address those,” said Heirbrandt, a Westfield resident
The Hamilton County Council, the county’s fiscal body, is responsible for approving the annual budget.
“We’ll be reviewing everything from processes that are currently in place for different departments, personnel requirements and what their needs are,” Heirbrandt said. “We have some personnel that have been with us for a long period of time, maybe 30 or 40 years. They have a tremendous amount of intellectual knowledge that we want to make sure gets passed on to younger (the) generation, people that will be filling their spots. We really hope to plan for those transitions.”
Heirbrandt said the commissioners are making sure computer programing is up to date.
“Some of the computer software program may be outdated, and we could upgrade and be more efficient to the needs since we’ve last updated them,” Heirbrandt said.
Heirbrandt said the commissioners will examine personnel needs.
“We’re one of the fastest-growing counties in the state of Indiana, and do we have enough personnel to adequately serve the constituents, or do we have too much?” Heirbrandt said.
Heirbrandt said the courts will be examined.
“We want to have a better understanding of how we spend taxpayers’ dollars, whether we are upgrading our facilities or we are having to expand our courts in our system,” he said. “How big of a courtroom do we need for certain court cases? Can we shift them to other larger ones for bigger jury cases? Do we have enough square footage or do have too much space? Are there ways to use this space more efficiently?”
Heirbrandt said officials have already discussed expanding and doubling the size of the Government Center.
“Our judges have some of the highest caseloads in the state of Indiana,” Heirbrandt said. “We were just able to get two more new judges and we are going to add two more courts to the facility. Do we spend a lot of money to build on, and are each one of our departments going to continue to grow? Do we do that now? Is there a way to use space more efficiently that we have in the buildings rather than spend a lot of money to add on to the facilities?”
Heirbrandt said Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush volunteered to have his department examined first, along with Community Corrections and Probation.
“It shows the transparency to have an outside firm come in and look at how efficiently their facilities are being run,” Heirbrandt said. “Are there areas for improvements and make recommendations on what those might look like?”
KPMG will examine each department’s operations and finances, specifically its organizational chart, staffing assignments, attrition and overtime as well as technology, dispatch and fleet maintenance. A financial review also will evaluate the office’s budget, expenditures and revenue streams.