Monday, September 17, 2012

New budget takes heavy bite from contingency funds

Does anyone else find it curious they chose a special meeting to reduce the emergency fund from $4M to $1.5M to cover what they left out of the budget. If you miss a budget by $2.5M, it's not a budget, it's misfeasance. - R.S. Gates, veteran Court watcher

Waco – Many accounts in the new McLennan County budget that Commissioners adopted a couple of weeks ago were underfunded by huge amounts – so much that the Court took $2,418,820 out of contingency funds set aside for emergency spending and applied it to payroll accounts to cover the shortfall.

During a budget workshop previous to interviewing candidates who have applied to replace County Judge Jim Lewis and County Treasurer Danny Volcik, Commissioner Ben Perry exclaimed, “We've got a budget here that's clear as mud.”

In a bewildered tone, Auditor Stan Chambers said, “Contingencies are for miscellaneous expenses.”

During an executive session, the Court interviewed County Clerk Andy Harwell, who is one of the 18 persons who applied to replace Judge Lewis. They also interviewed Lynn Lockwood, long-time administrative assistant to the judge.

Candidates who made the short list for County Treasurer included former Treasurer Bill Helton and a newcomer, Stacy Stone. 

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