The committee’s proposal came earlier this week, and will be voted on by the full Bradley County Commission at its next formal session Aug. 2.
Commissioner Ed Elkins, finance committee chairman, said Mayor Gary Davis made the request to use approximately $500 from the budget to pay for these orientation expenses.
County commissioners discussed the recommendation at this week’s work session at the Courthouse.
Talks began when Commissioner Lisa Stanberry asked a budget question on behalf of a potential future commissioner during Elkins’ report. She also asked if Elkins planned to give new commissioners an information packet.
Elkins said he had not planned on preparing packets for the new commissioners and hoped outgoing commissioners would give their copies of the new budget to the incoming commissioners.
If not, then the new commissioners would receive a copy of the next published budget.
When Stanberry suggested taking questions from incoming commissioners ahead of time, Elkins said he would be happy to discuss any questions new commissioners may have.
Commissioner Ben Atchley said new commissioners could view the current budget online. Mayor Gary Davis said he would also be willing to provide new commissioners with a printed version of the budget.
Then Atchley brought up the finance committee’s recommendation for the $500 expenditure for new commissioner orientation. Atchley said in the past there had been a travel and expense budget line item, but the Commission voted to remove it. He said this money had been given to commissioners in the form of a pay raise. There was disagreement as to whether the pay increase was the result of eliminating the budget line item for travel expenses or whether it was another factor.
Elkins gave his reasons for approving the money.
Elkins said when he became a commissioner in 2006, money for any courses commissioners wanted to take to better their understanding of the job came out of their own pocket.
Elkins said the orientation in Nashville for the new commissioners gives helpful information about being a commissioner.
“I think it would be a disservice to the commissioners to not be able to attend that for their orientation ... it’s very informative,” Elkins said, commenting that it would be money well spent.
The finance committee also approved budget amendments for the Emergency Management agency and the Circuit Court Clerk.