Sunday, December 19, 2010

Budget Shows Big Increase For Judge - 10% - Reduction In Responsibilities - Cost Plus: 30% Of Budget Added On

Where else can you have your job responsibilities reduced and get a raise?

Part Of The Legendary Series by R.S. Gates

A review of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget is not a pleasant task. Three pages are about the extent a person can stand. I heard rumors for a while that the budget of the County Judge was increased by $50,000.00. I did not attribute much to the statement for two reasons. It was a 10% increase and I just really didn’t want to wade off into the spreadsheets.

Two events enticed me to take the plunge and the discovery was very interesting. I was first reminded a significant portion of the Judges responsibilities were transferred to the Budget officer and second, I was encouraged to review the budget for the budget office. It was simple enough to verify the claim. $452,330.00 was budgeted for FY 2010 and $502,660.00 budgeted for FY 2011. The adopted budget for fiscal year 2011 does indeed show an increase in the budget of $50,000.330. Still not very interesting in itself.

The really interesting part is the Judge was relieved of a significant responsibility with the appointment of a budget officer mid-year. This is the first budget to be constructed to include funding for that office. Normally it is very difficult to put a price on duties transferred from one department to another. With the inclusion of the budget office in the budget, it is pretty simple.

The FY 2011 budget includes $160,550.00. This figure is about 32% of the budget for the office of the County Judge. Looking at the numbers, from a fiscal perspective, the responsibilities of the County Judge were reduced by ~30% and for this he received a 10% increase. This is a whole new spin on Governmental Accounting.

There has been much discussion that the voters made a mistake in November by removing a long tenured incumbent. Perhaps the voters' greatest error was returning an incumbent of long tenure.

And the floggings will continue until morale improves.

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