Budget sessions to begin

Apr. 27, 2013 @ 02:42 PM

Tommy Hester, chairman of the Vance County Board of Commissioners, has called for a special meeting Wednesday at 4 p.m. to receive the fiscal year 2013-2014 proposed budget estimate.

On Dec. 3, 2012, when commissioners held their last official board meeting of the year, Hester was appointed as the new chairman. During that meeting, Hester set foundational goals, and precedence for positive changes which included receiving the budget on May 1.

“It just gives them more time to question things and look at it,” Hester said of the timeframe designed to help fellow commissioners and the county citizens.

According to Hester, Wednesday will mark the first time in history he can recall a preliminary budget being presented in May.

“I would like to get the budget on May 1,” said Hester during comments made last December. “We normally don’t receive it until late May or early June.

“This would allow for more time to talk about it, and raise questions to discuss with our county manager and finance officer.”

An official agenda has been released for Wednesday’s meeting, which also includes a written resolution opposing the voter ID proposal. Jerry Ayscue, the county manager, sent the written resolution to commissioners earlier in the week asking for their review and feedback.

“We’ve tried to draft something, and it was sent out yesterday, or today,” said Ayscue during a phone conversation with The Dispatch on Thursday. “It’s in draft form to let them look at, and give me some feedback on. I’m not sure how that is going to proceed.

“I’ve asked for their direction in that regard.”

According to Hester, a request was made by commissioner Terry Garrison for inclusion to the agenda of the resolution.

“What needs to happen now, is for another public meeting to be held,” Hester said. “That can be done if the commissioners request a special called meeting, or they can wait till May 1, and put it on the agenda because I’ve already gone ahead and called for a special meeting on that date to have budgets given to us.”

During April’s board meeting of the commissioners, a resolution not appearing as an agenda item and without formal written documentation was passed by a vote of 4-3.

The voter ID resolution was requested by commissioner Eddie Wright.

“The thing passed back at the last meeting was based on a resolution passed in Granville County,” Hester said. “I called them the next day on the phone, and they had not passed anything, and they were not passing anything on voter ID.”

During that time, Wright, Garrison, vice chairman Deborah Brown and Archie Taylor voted for it; Gordon Wilder, Dan Brummitt and Hester voted against.

Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com.