Sunday, June 26, 2016

Zero Contingency Budgeted By Delegation Coming Back to Bite the County

According to the Carroll County 2016 approved budget, the Commissioners requested a $100,000 contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses, but the Delegation zeroed this out and did not approve any money for this line item. At the June 15th commissioner's meeting, ( video can be found here) some emergency failures occurred requiring some expensive repairs such as the generator and furnace. To pay for these expenses will require moving money from other line items and perhaps negatively impacting some departments or services.
Line item transfers of the amounts stated will need approval by the Delegation Executive Committee.
I found this little blurb in Delegation minutes of October 19th 2015 ( highlights are mine) "Rep. Umberger said the three-member(Executive) committee makes decisions via email discussion. She agreed to forward the transfer requests to anyone who would like to be included. The size of the executive committee will be increased to five members. Seeing no objection, Rep. Cordelli and Rep. Avellani will be added to the committee."
Are these decisions still being made by " email discussion"? They are a committee appointed by a public body and not exempt by the Right to Know law. These discussions need to occur in an open public meeting.
I'm sure that money can be found somewhere in the budget for these emergency expenses, but not allowing the Commissioner's to have any emergency contingency funding is not just short sighted, but a very poor business practice.
The Carroll County Delegations sole responsibility is to approve the necessary funds to operate the County. Period. The Delegation leadership has failed miserably in this effort.

1 comment:

State Rep Glenn Cordelli said...

After I was added to the Exec Committee, there were a couple of transfer
requests approved by email. We stopped that and since then a
public meeting has been required.

This transfer approval was the result of 2015 legislation that I co-sponsored as part of our efforts to bring fiscal responsibility to the County. That is an ongoing effort.