Budget hearings continue and county department heads continue to show up with reductions in their departments’ bottom lines for 2010.
Commissioners met recently with information technology director Gary Venable, E-911 director David Camp, Emergency Medical Services director Dwayne Patton and county clerk Linda Cox, who represented the county chairman office’s budget.
And all four departments reduced their budgets collectively by almost $175,000.
Finance director Kathy Clark told commissioners that Venable has taken 12 percent off his department’s bottom line for next year. The IT budget does include several line item increases, however, including replacing three computers in the 911 office ($2,400) and five computers in the probate office ($4,000). Venable said the computers are all at the end of their life cycles. Venable’s total proposed budget for 2010 equals $211,269, a $29,000 reduction from the current budget.
“Good job, Gary, good job,” District 2 commissioner John Pethel said.
The E-911 budget includes a $58,341 overall decrease for 2010. Camp did ask for a new GCIC tech/warrants clerk position, but pointed out that this request will not increase salary expenses. He told commissioners that long-time warrants clerk Ann Brooks is retiring by the end of the year and that he wants to combine that position with a GCIC tech position. Brooks currently makes $28,500 annually and Camp said the new combined position’s salary will be from $23,000 for a new employee to $26,600 for a current, experienced employee.
“Either way we’re saving money,” Camp said, adding that the new position will also take a lot of stress off dispatchers.
The EMS budget has been reduced by $54,106 for 2010.
Commissioners reviewed electricity payments for the four EMS stations, two of which are leased from fire departments. The annual bill for Hull is $3,618 and the annual bill for Danielsville (Station 1) is $5,843. Both Comer ($6,264) and Ila ($5,726) include invoices for both the EMS offices and the fire stations in which they are housed.
Patton reported that there are currently 60 people on staff in the EMS department.
County clerk Cox said the chairman’s office budget has been decreased by 14 percent overall for next year, from $237,231 for 2009 to $204,004 for 2010. The chairman’s budget includes the salaries of chairman Anthony Dove, the clerk’s salary, human resources director Donna Sisk’s salary and half-time salary of Rhonda Wooten, who also works half-time in building inspections, and for students who operate recording equipment during BOC meetings.
Elected officials and/or constitutional officers are not required to take salary cuts. Even if it comes to the point where some would have to take a cut, I'm sure they would still be thankful to at least have a job. I know I would. Or, if some citizens complain, then just raise the millage rate & let the citizens pay to keep the salaries the same. (I think not.)