New Procedure Approved by Budget Committee
By: Pat Hunter
October 22, 2008
Loudon County School Director Wayne Honeycutt and business manager Bennie Sims went before the Loudon County Budget Committee on Monday Oct. 20th. Listed on the agenda were numerous budget amendments. Sims gave explanations for line item amendments as the Budget Committee reviewed, discussed and approved the budget amendments.
There was also another matter, which was not on the agenda or added to the agenda. Director Honeycutt and Sims spoke before the Budget Committee and initiated a discussion to change procedures involving budget amendments. Why was there no consultation or public discussion with the School Board about this issue? Why wasn't Commission informed about the Budget Committee's actions at the commission workshop held the same day?
Currently, the School Board reviews and approves budget amendments, monthly. Amendments are then sent to the Commission Budget Committee for approval with final approval by Commission, as the last step.
The Budget Committee discussed reviewing school budget amendments quarterly instead of monthly.
Basically what are you doing is moving money around from one category to another, from one line item to another asked Commissioner Harold Duff. That’s mostly what it is, and some of it comes from grants, replied Sims.
Click to view clip.
School Director Wayne Honeycutt was concerned about the amount of time that it takes to approve budget amendments. Sims mentioned that it was not unusual for it to take 6 weeks to pay bills and he was looking for a way to expedite this process. He asked if it was possible to move things (money) from expense account to expense account with just the approval of “Tracy and Doyle.” He thought that would speed things up however employee salary amendments would remain with the same procedure. Doyle is Mayor Doyle Arp, Budget Chairman and Tracy is Tracy Blair, Finance Director.
What about if we delegate it to Doyle and Tracy but we just get a copy of the spreadsheet (referring to budget amendment sheets) asked Commissioner Don Miller? Commissioner Duff, we don’t have to discuss that but a notation would be made in the Minutes.
Click to view clip.
Budget Chairman Mayor Arp thought that quarterly amendments would be fine, just to cover themselves. And if the budget amendments were approved by Arp and Blair, that would free the school to pay their bills.
The Budget Committee decided to change procedures for approving Board of Education budget amendments, which will now go to Arp and Blair for approval.
Commissioner Don Miller motioned, as far as line item adjustments go, that the Budget Committee does not see the need to approve them, we would just like to be informed of them each month. More research was needed when it comes to school grants and Blair would report back once she completes her research. Line items for salary adjustments would remain the same and still require Budget Committee approval. Budget amendments would be reviewed quarterly, instead of monthly.
(Note: Commissioners (D-5) Harold Duff and (D-1) David Meers are the newest members to the Budget Committee. Duff and Meers replace Bob Franke and Nancy Marcus. Duff and Meers are employed by Loudon County government. Duff works for the Juvenile Dept and Meers is the Principal of Highland Park School.) Duff and Meers served on the Budget Committee prior to the election of Mayor Arp.