County Commission Discretionary Funds To Be Limited To Public Works Projects

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Not all County Commission members are happy with a new policy that limits the use of "discretionary funds" to public works projects.

Commissioner Warren Mackey voted against the change, saying it cuts out commissioners' abilities to directly help needy groups in the community, including young people.

Commissioner Greg Beck had similar concerns, and he passed on the vote.

Under the new set-up, the nine commissioners will each have $100,000 at their disposal per year. But the money can no longer go to groups in the community, including 501(C) (3) groups, as in the past.

The money will not be in the general fund, but will be under a line of credit to be covered later with a bond issue.

Commissioner Joe Graham said he had been under the impression all along that the money was to go to projects involving construction of public use facilities, such as buildings and trails.

Commissioner Larry Henry, saying commissioners are hit up from all sides for the funds, said the new policy would "take some pressure off the commissioners."

Chairman Fred Skillern said the money would be used for "facilities that the communities cannot afford."

Commissioner Graham pointed out that commissioners also have access to $12,500 per year they can use as they wish in their districts - that is if they do not draw down $8,000 for out of town trips and $4,500 for local travel expenses.

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