July 22, 2014

Boat full of moneyAccording to County Manager/Finance Director, Karen Degges, the county is floating in money. At the 7/21/14 BOC meeting she informed the BOC she has “found” all sorts of money to spend. She is truly a miracle worker!

Monday night Ms. Degges repeatedly said the county had no cash flow problems, and in fact there was so much money that the BOC could just float money up front for JCWSA, and not only pay them the 2009 money that was never authorized by that BOC ($42,000 or so), but also give JCWSA money for the 2014 tax bills that have not even been sent yet (another $48,000 or so) and won’t be due until December 2014.

Ms. Degges said it was such a hardship for JCWSA that they just shouldn’t have to wait for their money, and the county certainly had enough money and should just go ahead and pay all this up front. The taxpayers could just wait to be reimbursed instead of making the poor JCWSA get their money as it was paid in. The taxes levied for JCWSA are designated solely for them and disbursed to JCWSA by the Tax Commissioner as taxes are paid . (There will be more in a separate blog about JCWSA after we receive all requested documents.)

Karen Degges told the BOC that she had done away with the EMS Billing position (you know, the one just advertised for) and by doing so she had “found” $33,000. Debria Murphy is going to be a full time EMT and do the billing.

But Degges failed to mention she had hired Michelle Haddock to help with EMS billing and to work with EMS, along with Debria Murphy who was also switched to EMS payroll. These moves would cut into that savings, but don’t tell the BOC that. They can pretend the money is there, and then they can spend it.

Later in the meeting another $75,000 was “found” and it was enough to hire a contractor to fix potholes on the county roads! This $75,000 was found by using the health insurance savings from changes in the new plan. There was already $64,000 of savings put into the contingency budget. An additional $8000 from some other changes discussed Monday night brings the total to $75,000 to be taken out of contingency.

Comm. Luke said Public Works had their hands full working on dirt roads, plus admitted he got calls about how potholes that were fixed by Public Works didn’t last more than 2 days.

 Isn’t it a pity Ms. Degges wasn’t diligent enough to find all this extra money before the BOC raised our taxes 2.15 mils? Or was the millage increased so the BOC would have enough to help pay JCWSA debt?

Here’s just a few more things money was spent on at the meeting:

·         Fire Station #3 building expansion $40,700

·         $39,400 for Landfill Contract

·         Reduced employee’s health insurance deductible to $1500. When the millage increased and the budget was approved, the deductible was set at $2500. The taxpayers are subsidizing the lower deductibles and are paying for all but $30 a month of the employees’ health insurance premiums. **Note: this increases the county’s potential cost, but that wasn’t discussed when the $75,000 was found (above).

Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and make good decisions.
That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.       

This entry was posted in Budgets, County, EMS, Water and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Citizen 5 says:

    I wanted to take a minute to thank Mr. Forsythe for attending and recording all the BOC meetings and then upload it to YouTube. This gives everyone, that did not have a chance to go to the meetings, a chance to see first hand what is going on. Thank you!!!

  2. Gay Morrison says:

    Karen Deggs, since you have found all this money and we are rolling in dough, how about rescending that 2.15 ml increase on my taxes that I and many others can not afford!

  3. R U Kidding says:

    Say what?

    “I’m always sort of tweaking the administrative processes here in an effort to streamline things and hopefully save the county money if at all possible and so, one of the staffing reconfigurations that we recently had was with regard to the EMS billing specialist.
    We essentially eliminated that position – and that work is being absorbed by Debria Murphy as a full time EMT now – and so she is doing that along with EMT work just like Chris Finch is an EMT or he is actually called a paramedic – but he is also the training coordinator for the department. Different employees have additional responsibilities based on their skill set and their pay is a little different because of that – and rightly so. But that is savings to the county because we had two full time positions both with benefits is $33,500 – so that’s money that is now available in the FY15 budget. And one of the things that the board can consider doing is try having a grant writer for 90 days. We know that we have a desperate need to get some grants written for everything from safety equipment, to play ground equipment, a pavilion for the recreation and I think that’s an opportunity to have a grant writer also do this billing and this customer service at no additional cost to the county because it’s a position that has been saved by combining 2 other positions.”

    Could this be any more confusing? Let me see if I got this right. We eliminated a position (EMT billing) and saved $33,500 – now we can consider hiring a grant writer who also does billing and customer service (for what is not clear) at no additional cost because we saved this position by combining 2 other positions? I must be the dumbest person on earth, because I truly do not get it.

    • taxdogs says:

      The BOC doesn’t get it either, but they could never admit it. And if they do ask questions, Karen Degges avoids, evades, and ignores and there is never an answer, unless it is a circular one like above. No matter the vote is 5-0 and everyone is happy.

  4. Lynn Short says:

    “We the taxed should count ourselves extremely fortunate to be blessed with those brave forward thinkers who never hesitate in asserting county authority to borrow from their neighbor’s future in order to rescue incompetent corporate management from drowning in a toxic pool of it’s own created debt. Forward Jasper! The Crank of Monticello is set for Progress.”

  5. James Kelly says:

    Thanks to the Taxpayers Watchdog for keeping us informed. Without you we wouldn’t know squat about what our governing body is doing!!

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