Madison County budget includes raises and new positions

Some Madison County workers will receive raises and several new positions will be added as a part of the fiscal year 2019 budget.

The Madison County Board of Supervisors approved the $32,331,869.62 budget in a 3-2 vote.

The projected revenue for fiscal year 2019 is $32,431,131.67.

Raises were approved for select employees in the following departments: engineering, information technology and tax assessor. The four raises come to a total of $20,072.

The new budget also will fund three new detention officers at the jail; an emergency management assistant; a new employee at Justice Court; a captain, two deputies and a receptionist at the Sheriff’s office; and a new employee for youth services.

The total of the salaries for these new positions is $350,584.

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter said the budget had $3 million in cuts from what was originally asked for from department heads.

“We had $3 million in cuts on what was asked for,” Baxter said. “A lot of line item cuts.”

Madison County Tax Assessor Norman Cannady expressed concerns with how the budget process was handled for this fiscal year.

“The citizens of Madison County deserve and expect transparency for all county business conducted,” Cannady said. “All decisions made should have proper analysis and reasoning behind them. And the public should always be properly informed.”

 

The fiscal year 2019 budget proposals included five proposed budgets from my office, two of them significantly less than what was submitted by his office.

“I have not had any communication with anybody regarding proposed budgets,” he said. “It’s been 70 days since I’ve submitted the details and two budget options contained significant cuts.”

He said no one presented any reasoning to him as to how they arrived at those numbers.

He asked the board to consider adopting the budget that he submitted and to consider working closer with officials to prepare the budget in the future.

“We all must communicate and collaborate to make sure the citizens of Madison County are represented to the best of our ability,” he said.

Chancery Clerk Ronny Lott said it slashed funding for every department.

He said the figures were compiled by a county employee with no accounting experience and no management experience.

“The figures were obtained by using past spending,” he said. “Without taking growth into account.”

He referenced the number of new homes that were built in the county in the past three years, which he said is 2,100.

“We took the process seriously and went over it in great detail,” Baxter said. “What was originally asked for would have put us in a deficit. We balanced it. That’s our primary responsibility. It’s a good, solid budget.”

“We were able to work out our differences in the end,” Baxter said.