July 5, 2014
On Wednesday, July 2nd, Chief Judge William Prior, Jr. held a hearing on an injunction filed by Jackie Bell Smith and Molly Pompey of the SCLC to stop the dismantling of the Monticello police department (MPD). The contention of the injunction was that the City budget was misrepresented, and it was not going down, but up, and there would be enough money for the MPD to stay intact.
Court started at 9:00AM; however, the case was not heard until approximately 4:30PM. The city attorney, Joe Reitman, Mayor Standifer, and Mayor ProTem Jacobs (the Defendants) entered the courtroom at approximately 4:00PM while Ms. Smith and Ms. Pompey (the Plaintiffs) waited in the courtroom throughout the day.
The Plaintiffs produced the adopted budget for FY14 in the amount of $9,691,023 as reported by The Monticello News on June 13, 2013.
|They brought out that the recently adopted budget of $10,722,401 is more and therefore there should be enough for the MPD to stay in business.|
Judge Prior ruled that the City Council had the right and the authority through its budget process to disband the MPD and the injunction was denied.
Note: the FY14 approved budget did not include $950,000 for SPLOST and $2500 for Hotel/Motel tax which the FY15 budget shows. By adding this in to compare apples to apples, the FY14 budget would have been $10,643,523, slightly less than the FY15 adopted budget of $10,722,401.
The June 30, 2013 audit shows the City spent $432,422 more than it brought in. The FY13 budget was $9,915,959; however only $137,000 was shown as SPLOST. If the same amount of SPLOST was shown as in the FY15 budget, the FY13 budget was actually $10,728,959.
The Monticello budget seems to have varied little over the past 3 years; however, the City has overspent a half million dollars or more for several years.