County eyes budget calendar for next year

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 12/6/18

The budget calendar for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is expected to follow the same schedule used to prepare the current year’s budget. On Monday, the Bradley County Commission’s Finance Committee discussed whether to change the schedule used to prepare the budget.

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County eyes budget calendar for next year

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The budget calendar for the 2019-20 fiscal year is expected to follow the same schedule used to prepare the current year’s budget.

Earlier this week, the Bradley County Commission’s Finance Committee discussed whether to change the schedule used to prepare the budget.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said he has two versions of the calendar, but would like direction from the committee as to which to pursue. Davis noted he would like to keep it the same as last year.

Committee members agreed to keep the same schedule, which will begin with a meeting on Feb. 28 with all county department heads and bookkeepers to explain the budget process and distribute budget work papers to be completed by all departments. The annual process will culminate with county commission approval of the 2019-20 fiscal year budget on Monday, July 1.

The Finance Committee will vote on the budget preparation calendar at its January meeting.

In discussing plans for the next fiscal year budget, Chairman Milan Blake asked if the budget request instructions should be sent as-is, or changed. Blake said last year the committee spoke with elected officials about requesting wage increases.

"We've got some serious issues in the county for filling positions and retiring people," Commissioner Thomas Crye said, adding he believes the committee needs to let elected officials make clear any requests related to employee pay. "If they want it, they'd better put their numbers in there."

Davis said department heads are told not to include a percentage salary increase unless they are requesting an adjustment to base salaries; they are also asked to keep the numbers separated for ease of review. Davis said they can make a separate request and include information to justify it.

"If they want to take care of their people they have an inherent responsibility to speak up for their people," Crye said.

Based on that discussion, Blake said it seems like last year's instructions are adequate to use in next fiscal year's planning.

In other business, the Finance Committee:

• Approved several budget amendments, including an $11,122.34 decrease in expenses request by the Finance Department. The funds are transferred from the County Commission “Other Charges” line item to the Sheriff’s Department’s “Legal Services” to cover insurance deductibles for lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department

"We're moving money here over to the respective line items," Blake said, adding the deductibles are for lawsuits from the administration of former sheriff Eric Watson.

Crye asked how many lawsuits remain active from Watson’s administration, noting he knows of 27. Blake said the committee can get that number to share at a later meeting.

• Approved several payments for services rendered through security work performed by employees of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

• Heard the November credit card usage report from Davis.


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