By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
In just the second month of the new budget cycle, the Greene County Board of Supervisors discussed two issues last night (8/23) that would allow the county to spend nearly $33,000 over the approved FY17 budget.
The first issue that County Administrator John Barkley explained was that several positions are needed to be brought up to market value. He further explained that supplemental funds are being requested to fund the $27,250 for the reclassification of positions. Surplus funds from the FY16 budget will allow the county to be able to fund this request.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Martin (Stanardsville) asked Barkley if the funds were available or not?
Barkley explained that the savings from last fiscal year would be enough to cover this additional cost and that the Board of Supervisors had the authority to reallocate unspent dollars. Supervisor David Cox (Monroe) didn’t feel there should be increases to the budget both in dollars and personnel and departments should bring up issues during the budget process.
Martin explained that the budget was not being increased but that savings from last year were being sought to cover the increased cost. Cox indicated he didn’t remember adjusting salaries during the year from what was budgeted at any time during his tenure as supervisor.
Vice-Chairman Michelle Flynn (Ruckersville) stated that this was not a change to the budget and the underspending from last year would be used to cover the increased salary. However this change in salary should have been included in the budget process. Supervisor Jim Frydl (Midway) agreed that the additional money being requested should have been in the budget. However, the underspending credit from last year could be used to pay for the salary increase.
Martin said that three positions are being reclassified to be more efficient and to include grant writing. When this was put to a vote only Supervisor Cox voted against going forward to the second hearing of the request at the next meeting on September 13.
The next issue before the Board of Supervisors was similar in that an additional allocation of $5,500 was being requested to hire a temporary mechanic to fill in for a mechanic on short term (90 day) disability. With the start of the school year the need for a mechanic is critical in order to keep the school’s buses on the road.
Barkley explained that this is a similar need for funds as above in that the underspending from last year could be used to fund the additional spending. This action also passed 4-1 with Cox voting against it for the same issue – it is overspending the current year budget.
After the meeting County Finance Director Tracy Morris explained that the savings from the prior fiscal year are moved to the Reserve Fund each year. The additional spending that was discussed tonight would be charged to the Reserve Fund since these amounts are in excess of the current year budget.
Both of these items will be heard again at the next supervisor meeting on September 13th for a final decision.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org