New meaning to passing the buck? Push back by the Commissioner's and administration to the request last month by the Delegation to cut $2 million from the proposed budget, was that layoffs would have to be made to the tune of 18 of the 350 or so county employees. That would mean that salary and benefits on average would about $111K per employee.
This is just a perfect example of how petty politics, mixed with a healthy dose of incompetence and perhaps even years of indifference, results in financial pain for county taxpayers. Are there any leaders in the Delegation or Commissioner's office?
(These articles in the Conway Daily Sun and the Carroll County Independent have more detail into the latest trials and tribulations over in Ossipee. )
One suggestion I have received is for the Commissioner's to forgo their $10K "salary" as a gesture for the financial mess that no one seems to want to own up to.
Last year, the county hired a new finance director, the first county administrator, a Commissioner was replaced ( by the Delegation) after newly elected Commissioner Miller resigned abruptly and yet, here we are again in a budget bubble that is about to burst. ...again. Now if the Commissioner's continue to refuse to find cuts in the budget, what will the Delegation do? Do they have sufficient insight into county operations to cut specific areas of spending and understand what the impacts will be? Does anyone? The Commissioner's cannot transfer very much money from line item to line item, so the Delegation will have to be very specific as to what to cut.
I wish there was one document that outlines in clear language, what happened to the budget from the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2015. That would be a worthwhile effort by our County Administrator and Finance Director and have it in hand for the anticipated fireworks at the upcoming February 29th Delegation meeting.
Taxpayers unfortunately have no vote on the budget or the proposed cuts. Our only recourse is the voting booth when the next election cycle occurs.
The BoS have it in our work plan for early in 2016, to get the Delegation and Commissioner's in front of us and taxpayers to explain one more time, what is going on in Ossipee.
A personal observation: is there any reason that Delegation Chair and Vice Chair can't sit and meet with the Commissioner's and the administration and work through the budget line by line in a collaborative effort? Can't do that of course if your job one is to get re-elected next November.