June 17, 2018
As TWG has said before, “Public hearings are a total joke in this county.”
The BOC has another called meeting tomorrow night, June 18, about the FY19 Budget— Topic of discussion to include: FY2019 Budget & Employee Health Insurance
JASPER COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS will have a CALLED MEETING on Monday, June 18th at 6:00 pm in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room – Ground Floor Ste. 16 – Jasper County Courthouse. (There is no agenda posted on the BOC website as of 5PM 6/17/18.)
The BOC has already advertised for the public hearings for the FY19 budget, which will be held this Thursday, June 21 at 10:00am and 6:00pm. But how can there be any public hearings when the public has never seen the final budget nor have they had an opportunity to review it? The public copy of the budget has not been kept up to date, and trying to get any details from the county manager is a struggle.
At the BOC meeting this past Thursday, June 14, the health insurance figure was not finalized, but the figure being talked about was the “self-insured plan” with Cigna PPO of $700,000+.
Even without knowing the final budget figure, the BOC did agree to use the “roll-back” millage rate last Thursday and give 3% raises—but that figure was still not included in the $10,406,545 budget. Based on the handout from the meeting, the budget will be increased another 5% over last year or $365,298 plus $133,828 for wage increases. For some reason the wage increases are added in separately on their own line item this year instead of by department.
As it stands now, it appears the FY19 Budget will be $10,540,373 and $372,119 more than expected revenues. The BOC will take this overage out of “fund balance.”
Of note—debt payments will increase from $156,378 on the FY18 budget to $247,336 on the FY19 budget—at 58% increase. Debt has increased steadily under this group of Commissioners for the past 6 years. Debt now stands at $1,867,564, with $554,785 of this total being for Sheriff’s cars.
There is little doubt that these figures will change again tomorrow night, and the public will be even more clueless—just 2 days before the public hearing where the citizens are supposed to be able to voice their concerns or have their questions answered about the budget. In the past, the BOC limited any comments to 3 minutes and did not answer any questions. They had already set THEIR BUDGET and didn’t need any input from the citizens, whose only job is to pay for it all. We have little doubt it will be any different this year.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.