Sunday, July 13, 2014

BUDGET ADVISORY BOARD VERSUS FINANCE COMMITTEE --by Larry Fillmore



A couple of years ago, this town had a Budget Advisory Board elected by the people. Being elected, these individuals were completed separate from the Town Council and could provide the Town Council with an objective review of the budget. However, this Budget Advisory Board, for its last two years, did not support the Town Council’s Municipal Budget. As a result of the Budget Advisory Board NOT recommending approval of the Municipal Budget they were replace with the Finance Committee.

This Finance Committee was not elected by the people but appointed by the Town Council thus eliminating any objective review of the budget. In order to ensure the Finance Committee always supported the Town Council’s Municipal Budget the Council loaded the seven members with five (5) previous councilors.
This has worked out well for the Town Council but has hurt taxpayers because there is no one to look out for them. There is no separation between the Town Council and the budget process because the majority of the Finance Committee is former councilors.

In this year’s budget, the Finance Committee recommended a total of $65,650.00 tax dollars be spent on Professional Services. This is in addition to Professional Development. The Town Engineer alone will receive $53,600.00 tax dollars in Professional Services. Look below for their recommended cuts:

INSURANCE - $25,000.00
ASSESSING - $22,000.00
FINANCE - $14,590.00
TAX COLLECTOR - $16,200.00
TOWN CLERK – $9,489.00
PUBLIC WORKS - $58,400.00
PARKS - $600.00
POLICE DEPARTMENT - $0.00

The Police Department has a $1,300.00 plus budget. That’s right over $1.3 MILLION of our tax dollars and the Finance Committee could find no areas to cut. I do not need to continue to repeat some of the areas I found with just a quick glance. These former councilors have dedicated their time on the council protecting Chief Brooks budget for numerous years and now they continue to do it.

It is imperative for this community's survival that there be a group of individuals, completely separate from the Town Council to ensure there is a check and balance system in place to protect the taxpayers. This is NOT present at this time.

The Town Council needs to take action to reinstate the 

Budget Advisory Board ELECTED by the people.


Larry Fillmore

Editors Note: I believe if you place all the actual costs of the Police Dept. into the Police department budget you would find our PD costs us well over 2 million dollars.

1 comment:

  1. The dollar amount allotted for Professional Service hours should be based on the amount of credit hours that the state requires and not based on extravagant and/or out of state workshops.

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