The Ink isn't Even Dry -
Commissioners say NO to BOE spending
$47,039 Budget Amendment
By: Pat Hunter
September 9, 2008
There was a set of amendments from the Board of Education that did not receive approval from the Budget Committee, explained Finance Director Tracy Blair. The amendment increased the expenditures by $47,039 for step increases including social security, retirement and Medicare.
At Monday's commission meeting, commissioners voted nine to one to accept the Budget Committee's recommendation regarding the $47,039 school board budget amendment. Commissioner David Meers was the only no vote and Meers did not declare his conflict of interest since he is an employee of the Board of Education.
Commissioner and Budget Committee member Don Miller gave the reasons why the Budget Committee did not give its approval to the $47,039 BOE expenditure:
The ink is hardly dry on this next budget and within weeks we are being asked for more.
Did not want to start a pattern of approving amendments as was done last year, which added up to 6-7 percent increase.
The budget amendment for $47,039 would have to come out of fund balance and that isn't a good idea to take out for yearly operating expenses.
Felt like the Budget Committee was very generous allocating more pennies to the operating budget and rural fund budget.
If this is a high priority, this amount must come out of the budget somewhere else instead of fund balance.
Commissioner Bob Franke said something about, we didn't say that you couldn't do it, its just not going to come from our budget. Franke spoke in the direction of Benny Sims, business manager and Gil Luttrell, assistant director. Both were in attendance the audience at Monday's commission meeting when the Budget amendment was discussed by commissioners. Both had an opportunity to speak about the issue.
Originally only 8 or 9 secretaries were scheduled to receive pay increase but it was expanded to 28 or 29 when a fourth pay tier was added by the School Board. About 8 or 9 secretaries did not get a pay raise and the board gave a one time bonus, last year. Furthermore, public records indicate that the original list from last year contained the names of 9 people and now the list includes a total of 29 employees. Last years list included 5 secretaries, 2 Special Ed para-professionals, 1 pre-school assistant and 1 kindergarten assistant. And each of the 5 secretaries received $1,680 and the others received $1,260. All school board personnel will receive a 2 percent pay raise for this fiscal year.
This matter is scheduled to be discussed by School Director Wayne Honeycutt and the new school board at Thursday's (Sept. 11th) Board of Education meeting at 7:00 P.M. at the Annex.