THE HUNTER REPORT
Budget Workshop Set
Picture of budget page prior to last set of recommendations by budget committee
No Budget on county gov website
What do they have to hide?
By: Pat Hunter
A workshop will be held on Wed., Sept. 16 at 1:00 p.m. at the Annex basement meeting room so commissioners may discuss the proposed FY 09-10 budget. The meeting is being held when most are at work. At this time, the proposed budget has not been posted on the Loudon County government website; why not?
Other departments give out budgets at no charge. Lenoir City Treasurer Recorder Bobby Johnson, JR., gave copies of budgets at a recent city council meeting and theschool board gives budgets to citizens if they want one.
The county now has its own IT department. Taxpayers pay for generous salaries, benefits, travel, part-time personnel for the IT dept. and there's no excuse for the budget not being on-line! The IT department head answers directly to Mayor Arp, Budget Chair.
The budget is created in the finance dept. by using Excel and a word processor software and should be readily available on the county gov website for everyone to see.
As of 09-14-2009, the proposed budget is NOT on the official Loudon county gov website. Requesting to view records is free.
How can you speak or comment about the proposed budget if your elected officials keep you in the dark?
If you wish to see the proposed budget on-line, please contact the Budget Committee and make your request. They get to see the budget, why shouldn't you? Taxpayers pay for the paper, ink, wages and benefits, office buildings, food, travel, etc.?
Budget Committee: Chair Mayor Doyle Arp (l), Don Miller, David Meers, Chris Park, Harold Duff, Tracy Blair, Finance Director & Secretary
Loudon County Budget Committee:
Budget Chair Mayor Doyle Arp - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Miller - Email: TVdrmiller@aol.com
Chris Park - Email: email@example.com
Harold Duff - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Meers - Email: email@example.com
The Tennessee Office of Open Records encourages government to use Best Practices Guidelines for Public Records. Here are some of the guidelines, effective 01/01/09.
"To the extent possible, when records are maintained electronically, records custodians should produce large-volume records request electronically. Records should be produced electronically whenever feasible as a means of utilizing the most "cost efficient method of producing" records."
"If a governmental entity maintains a website, records custodians should post as many records, and particularly records such as agendas and minutes from meetings, on the website whenever it is possible to do so."
"A records custodian may direct a requestor to the website for requested records. However, a requestor may still exercise the right to inspect the public record during regular business hours in the office of the records custodian and/or to receive a copy or duplicate made by the records custodian."
Source: Tennessee Office of Open Records