Board inspects budget requests
Commissioners want to know how county departments are using their funds and if they are doing so effectively.
During a work session Tuesday, the Vance County Board of Commissioners examined requests from departments looking for increased funding in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Commissioner Terry Garrison said the board needed to hold one-on-one sessions with some department heads to understand why they sought an increase. He suggested the board start with cuts to sectors with bigger appropriations since they represent larger percentages of the county’s overall budget.
Commissioner Dan Brummitt brought up concerns about teacher pay and supplements. He said the student population had decreased so there should be fewer teachers.
Commissioner Gordon Wilder said about 1,200 fewer students attend Vance County Schools now than did 10 years ago.
Because the school system requested an increase over last year’s appropriation, Brummitt said he wanted the county to look into the district’s overall operation of facilities, programs and teachers.
“We need to look at ways to operate smarter and more efficiently,” he said.
The board also reviewed Vance-Granville Community College’s budget.
Chairwoman Deborah Brown said the college was making every effort to be a good steward of public funds, citing clean financial audits, improved fundraising and enhanced student education.
“It’s about being accountable,” she said. “Showing that progress is being made, showing that your funds are being used in an appropriate manner rather than always holding out your hand and asking, asking, asking.”
Commissioner Tommy Hester did not attend Tuesday’s meeting. At the board’s previous work session, Hester objected to going over the budget line by line; instead, he suggested giving the county manager more direction and asking him to return with an altered funding plan. When it became clear that wouldn’t happen, Hester left but said he would return to vote on the budget.
The board’s next work session will be Thursday.
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