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County Council Cuts 2011 Budget to $10,594,073

September 14, 2010
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After nearly five hours of review the Marshall County Council approved the budget for 2011.

The original requests for the 2011 General Fund budget was $10,933,446.  The County Auditor recommended cutting the amount to $10,550,000.  By the end of the day $339,373 was cut from the County’s General Fund bringing the balance to $10,594,073. 

The Council sharpened their pencils and cut $31,228 from the Clerk’s budget including the position of small claims clerk. The Council did place an additional $5,000 in clerical to help compensate for the staff reduction.  They also reduced her office supply taking it back to this year’s amount, a reduction of $7,500.  The final cut was $500 in the travel and mileage line.

The Sheriff’s budget only had one cut, $21,000 for a vehicle.  Sheriff, Jon VanVactor had budgeted for 5 vehicles and the Council reduced that number to 4.

Another unusual item in the Sheriff’s Budget was the department head salary.  VanVactor budgeted the salary for 2011 at 94% or $72,395 the amount he came into office at four years ago.  There was some discussion amongst Council members. 

Ward Byers said he wanted to stay with the Sheriff’s recommendation and noted that they were looking for ways to reduce the budget. 

Member Ralph Booker said that when a new auditor or treasurer takes office their salary is not reduced back to where they came into office at.  He also said he did not want to set a standard.

A vote by the council found that Byers and Fred Lintner were the only ones interested in reducing the Sheriff’s Salary for 2011. The Council increased the Sheriff’s 2011 salary by $4,413 bringing it up to $76,808. 

The Prosecutor won’t be getting an additional deputy prosecutor, reducing the budget by $60,000.  Other cuts for the Prosecutor included $4,000 in overtime and $1,000 from the law clerk.

The Superior Court #2 budget had a total cut of $31,514.  The Council cut $5,000 for department head stipend, $1,000 for the bilingual stipend, $3,000 in overtime and$22,514 for a receptionist. 

The Probation department lost $31,268 from their 2011 request.  The Council removed $2,000 in clerical and $29,268 for an additional probation officer.  Council member Rex Gilliland said, “They have the vehicle to do an additional officer and the judges refuse to do that.”

Most other departments took cuts ranging from $750 up to $105,099 in E-9-1-1.

When the Council took a final look at the 2011 budget it was determined that a raise would likely not happen next year.  A 1% raise would equal $81,728 with $51,876 of it being in the General Fund.

The council will consider the 2011 salary ordinance in October. 

At the conclusion of the meeting Council members commented;

Ralph Booker said after not being able to give raises for two years that he would like to find a way to give them something next year although he is apprehensive of 2012, 13, and 14.

Ward Byers said he appreciated his process and commented that Fred Lintner was working on his final budget adoption.  He thanked him for his assistance.

Judith Stone said, “I looked and looked for any way possible to give a raise and just couldn’t find one.”  She also said, “I believe that shifting funds out of the Rainy Day Fund and keeping them in the funds where they belong is the right thing to do.”

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