Budget? We don’t need no stinking budget!

imageI believe the Commission Chairman has officially lost his mind. He now believes that TAX money grows on trees and budgets are for the birds and completely unnecessary. Is it his age or is it a symptom of him being a tax leach his whole life? Keep in mind he has been a government employee his whole life. No amount of political platitudes makes up for a life time of training. But I digress.

Tonight Commissioner Gibbs made the simple suggestion of establishing a budget for the Court House Annex renovation. He recommended (and made a motion) it be the tiny sum of $1.5 million. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Powell. As soon the discussion phase of the process came, the Chairman piped up that he thought it was a terrible idea. Now he didn’t say it was terrible idea due to the amount recommended. He said it was a terrible idea because he thought there should be NO budget. Yes you heard me right, no budget at all. He wanted to see what the architects would come up with if they had no budget then see if Hall County could afford it. In my mind I picture the Annex modified to a small version of something looking a little like, say… the Biltmore House. That may make the Chairman happy but on the other hand he might say, “make it BIGGER!” Because we all know bigger is better. Now keep in mind, when the vote came, four yes four commissioners voted to establish a budget. While the Chairman stood on his hill and voted against there being a budget at all.

For the love of all that is Holy, can someone either talk some sense into the Chairman. Or better yet, can someone run against his tax loving no budget needing self? If anyone is interested in running for Commission Chairman pleassssssse pleassssssse let me or someone else know. This experiment of the Sheriff turned Marshall turned Commission Chairman is just not working. I can be contacted at conservative@hallcountytruth.com subject “boot the Chairman.”

  8 comments for “Budget? We don’t need no stinking budget!

  1. July 10, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I approve this message.

    This is a situation where the Chairman would rather please the judges at the courthouse than the voters of the county. It is time for someone to step up and run against him.

  2. GT183
    July 10, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Lutz, why don’t you run?

    • July 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Thanks GT. I have had people ask, but I don’t know if I am ready yet. So far I hear that the candidate list is:
      Dick Mecum
      Billy Powell
      Steve Gailey
      Bobby Banks

      If all we can do is get retreads to run, I may have to throw my name into the ring. It would sure make the debates interesting…. if they actually choose to debate me. I am hoping for a fresh voice. I have been banging my head to figure out who the voice should be, but I would like to see someone with fresh ideas that is not so government centric.

      I am going to give it 90 days to see who steps up, then I may reevaluate then.

      • Hugh Akston
        July 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

        Lutz,

        Also, as one of the few in South Hall that did not sign your recall petition, it seems strange, but I don’t think I can support your run. For me it would feel like supporting Jeb Bush. While entertaining, you have the gift of division. Of course, if your name were on the above list, then I would probably pull the trigger for you as the lesser of evils just like I pulled the trigger for McCain and Romney over that clown Obama. But I too would like to see a new voice (not mine).

        As one of the few people that lived here when the Chairman was Sheriff, I should have warned the public what they were in for, but it seemed that Mecum was also the lesser of evils. Chairman Oliver had his problems and after asking for a tax increase at the depths of the recession, I was amazed that he made the runoff. Speaking of your list, you should remember that Commissioner Gailey was in the Mecum/Oliver election and finished dead last.

        The content has been entertaining and I love the picture too.

        • July 10, 2015 at 2:01 pm

          Hugh, at this point I don’t think I can get my wife’s vote. She is still pretty fed up with politics.

          I wish you had spoke up. I remember calling Chairman Oliver within 6 months of him leaving office, and when he answered, I told him that this is one call he should have let go to voice mail because I was about to leave a message that he could have played for all of his friends at the Kurt’s round table saying that I made a huge mistake voting for Mecum.

        • slinger waller
          September 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm

          Found out this fire recovery that Hall co fire is using for accident clean up ECT and now using it to do Hall co ambulance billing which is out of state. This is the same billing service that new fire chief Hood from Clayton county used. Is there any kick backs or referral pay outs??

  3. GT183
    July 10, 2015 at 10:57 am

    BTW: the picture is classic.

  4. county employee
    October 1, 2015 at 11:31 am

    We were graced with this email on Sept 25th. A lot of misleading headings to get our hopes up just to fizzle out with a whimper for the lot of us. What do you think?

    Hall County Government employees,

    I wanted to take a moment to share some important information regarding employee compensation.

    In the current fiscal year budget, $1.9 million in funds were approved and designated for employee compensation. These funds, along with the bonuses given in 2013 and the cost of living adjustment increase last year, reflect the commitment from the Commission and Administration to improve staff compensation. Prior to 2013, due to the economy and the county’s financial position, it had been several years since compensation adjustments had been given. It’s only a couple of years ago that furloughs were able to be eliminated and retirement reinstated. While we recognize that there is still work to do in this area, we also recognize that we have to continue to be financially responsible and move forward operating within what the budget will allow. The actions taken this year, and the past few years, show incremental progress.

    Since the approval of the budget, there has been a great deal of discussion and evaluation of how best to use the funds that were set aside in this year’s budget. Changes in compensation is an important topic and please rest assured that this has been given a lot of time and effort contemplating various options available and taking into consideration many factors. Some of these factors included recruitment issues, pay compared to market and a consistent loss of highly qualified staff. All of this had to be accomplished while working diligently to remain within the parameters of the FY 2016 budget.

    As a result, the large majority of staff can expect to see a bonus or pay increase. The adjustments and bonuses that will be paid in November will be as follows:

    Salary Increases
    • Only specific positions within the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department will be receiving pay increases. Staff members who do not receive an increase may be eligible for a bonus.
    • An increase ranging from $2,500 – $3,500 per year will be given to staff in specific positions within the Sheriff’s Office. Those positions are: Jailer ($3,500), Deputy Sheriff ($3,500), Investigator ($3,500), Sergeant ($3,500) Lieutenant ($3,000), 1st Lieutenant ($2,500) and Captain ($2,500).
    • With some exceptions, staff in the Sheriff’s Office that do not receive a pay increase will receive a bonus (see below).
    • An increase of 5% will be given to staff in specific positions within Fire Services. Those positions are: Firefighter/EMT I, Firefighter/EMT II, Lieutenant and Sergeant.
    • Staff in the Fire Department that are certified as a Paramedic will receive an additional $2 per hour when assigned as a Paramedic during their shift.
    • With some exceptions, staff in the Fire Department that do not receive a pay increase will receive a bonus (see below).
    • Salary increases will be effective as of the November 6th paycheck.

    Bonuses
    • Staff who have completed one year of service as of November 1st are eligible to receive a bonus. Staff with less than one year of service will not be eligible to receive a bonus.
    • Bonuses will be equal to $100 per year of full-time service as of November 1st up to a maximum of $1,000, or ten years of full-time service.
    • Bonuses will be “grossed up” so that taxes are included and deducted. For example, if you have ten years of full-time service, your total bonus will be $1,333 before taxes and $1,000 after taxes are withheld.
    • Some part time staff will receive a bonus of $100, also grossed up for taxes. (See last bullet point in the following section)
    • Bonuses will be paid on November 13th.

    There are staff that will not receive an increase or bonus. Those staff that fall into this group are:
    • Elected Officials
    • County Administrator and Assistant County Administrator
    • Appointed Officials
    • State Employees
    • Ineligible employees, which include seasonal/temporary employees, interns, temporary poll workers, bailiffs and members of Boards such as Board of Equalization, Tax Assessors, Planning, Elections Board and Parks & Leisure

    Again, this plan was made with thoughtful consideration to address significant pay issues in specific departments– and provide a bonus opportunity for most employees– while keeping strict budget constraints in mind.

    As always, thank you for your ongoing service to the citizens of Hall County. You are the most valuable resource this organization has, and we’re grateful for your dedicated efforts in making Hall County a wonderful place to live, work and play.

    Sincerely,

    Randy Knighton
    County Administrator

    Katie Crumley
    Public Information Officer
    Hall County Government
    Office: 770-297-5504
    Cell: 678-478-7605
    kcrumley@hallcounty.org
    http://www.hallcounty.org

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