The county voted to approve the first reading of a proposed budget for the fiscal year 2013-2014, with one “no” vote belonging to magistrate Jo Orange. The 5th District magistrate said she would not vote for the budget the way it is, because she feels there is a lot of overspending. Judge Executive Logan Chick reminded the magistrates that they can schedule a time to meet and go over the budget before passing it.
It is the job of the judge executive to present a proposed budget to the magistrates by a certain time, and the magistrates’ job to go over it and make any changes they see fit before final passage.
“I definitely don’t have a problem sitting down and discussing the budget,” Chick said.
According to Chick, last year’s budget was a little more than $15,879,000. The proposed budget is a little more than $15,870,000.
“I’m not voting for this budget. I don’t like the looks of it,” Orange said, mentioning she saw increases in the LGEA fund and for the humane society. “We are spending more. In another year or so, we are going to be looking at where the money is going to come from if we keep spending more and more. We need to look at where we need to decrease.”
Chick said he looked at the budget and said the LGEA fund was lower than last year. The LGEA fund is set aside and used to fund local government entities and events such as economic development, senior citizens, the parks system, festivals, the archives, airport and humane society.
“$7,500?” questioned Orange, referring to the humane society increase.
Chick said last year’s LGEA fund was $421,730. He said this fiscal year proposal is less — $399,215.
“There was a 3 percent increase for payroll in the proposal, and right now we don’t know what the increases will be for insurance,” Chick said. “I had to put something in, but at this time we don’t know some of the factors.”
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin said the court needs to sit down with elected officials and department heads and go over what they need in their budgets. A budget workshop is scheduled for 8 a.m. on May 24.