County budget discussion: biggest budget impact is new positions

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County budget discussion: biggest budget impact is new positions

July 11, 2017 - 10:06

Risk Director Cristi Charlow began the update by talking about reclassification of some employment titles, in order to better align duties and wages.

Three requests for reclassification are from the Parks and Recreation department, and one from Emergency Management. Ms. Charlow mentioned that she will be thoroughly reviewing duty and compensation structures when the county Human Resource Department completes their compensation study in the near future.

Budget Manager Pamela Lee presented the proposed budget impact, the largest of which comes from adding new positions. The proposed increases to the budget are; Personnel reclassification ($122,279), New Positions ($349,044) and Fire / Rescue ($11,365). The amounts listed are for total compensation, not only salaries.

Commissioner Steve Champion asked if a list of exiting employees and eliminated positions exists. Mr. Champion stated, “Because the public is watching right now, and they’re going, ‘Government growing again. Growing page after page...’ ” Commissioner Champion went on to say that this additional information is beneficial for the public, and to “show that we are being responsible with the people’s money.”

Ms. Charlow addressed this request, and stated it is standard practice when an employee has retired or exited the company, the open position is evaluated as to whether or not it should be filled, reduced or eliminated. A written overview is expected in future budget meetings and workshops.

Ms. Lee moved on to a proposed $954,064 reduction to the General Fund. Lee mentioned that the budget reduction for the departure of the Blueberry Festival has already been applied, but could be once again move to the expense column should a new event take its place. Reductions are expected to come from cuts to aid outside organizations by the BOCC, reduction in network hardware in Technology Services ($60,450), reductions in Library services ($42,642), and several other departments.

Proposed cuts to outside organizations totals $145,000 and includes the following reductions: Community Outreach $50k; County Fair $30k; Chinsegut $50k; SBDC $15k.

In Business Development, the salary for the director of economic development position was listed as a potential budget reduction (an amount of $208,927). The BOCC recently discussed hiring a full time Economic Development Director and/or a Deputy County Administrator to alleviate some of County Administrator Len Sossamon’s duties who also functions as the Economic Development Director. Sossamon’s base salary is $168,750.10 per year. The BOCC decided to advertise for a Deputy County Administrator internally and hold off on an economic development director until after the budget process.

A $240,000 poll equipment reduction was also proposed for the Supervisor of Elections.

The balance forward from last year has yet to be reviewed, and a final balanced budget is due July 15, 2017.