Some Commissioners Still Have Concerns, But County Budget Passes 5-4

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Some County Commission members on Thursday morning tried to delay a budget vote, saying they still wanted to review it further, but it passed 5-4.

In favor were Chairman Larry Henry and Commissioners Greg Beck, Marty Haynes, Jim Fields and Chester Bankston.

Opposed were Fred Skillern, Tim Boyd, Joe Graham and Warren Mackey.

Commissioner Graham said he $665 million budget is up by $22 million, and he did not understand where the new money was coming from. He noted the county school system is getting almost $9 million more than the past year.

He said he wanted to see full details on the final budget before voting for it. Louis Wright, finance director, said it will be another month before that is ready.

Commissioner Skillern said it would be the second year in a row that the county did not increase the fund balance (rainy day fund). He said that ought to rise as the overall budget increased.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said the budget process was the same as the past few years.

He said no one on the commission "has been misled in any way."

There is again no property tax increase or fee increase, he said.

The final budget is $665,319,053. The current budget is $643,206,407.

Total requests at the start of the budget process had been $670.5 million.

One final adjustment approved by the County Commission was to allow Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell to retain $400,000 for her budget from her excess fees.


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