The La Paz County Board of Supervisors wants to hold work sessions so they can more discuss the county’s proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year before they give it tentative approval. The budget was up for tentative approval at the Board’s May 28 meeting, but the Supervisors said they were seeing the revised budget for the first time and wanted to review it more.
Assessor Anna Camacho said this was the first time she’d seen the proposed budget for her department, and other department heads said they were seeing their departments’ proposed budgets for the first time as well. She said that, in years past, the department heads and the public were provided with copies of the proposed budget before it received tentative approval.
Finance Director Terry Krukemyer said he’d been working at revising the proposed budget until that morning.
The Board’s Chairman, District 2 Supervisor Duce Minor, said they had a lot of work to do before they could tentatively approve the budget.
District 2 Supervisor said he wanted to have work sessions with department heads so they could discuss their budgets. District 3 Supervisor Holly Irwin said this was something the county used to do every year.
County Administrator Ron Drake suggested the Supervisors hold these budget work sessions. He said the deadline of having the budget ready by July 1 (the first day of the new fiscal year) was self-imposed, and they could work beyond that date and still meet the state regulations.
The Supervisors set budget work sessions for June 10, 11 and 12.
Minor told the department heads he understood their concerns, but added it’s not easy to make ends meet.
“The departments have needs, not just wants,” he said. “I get that. We sit here and look at a limited pool of money and try to make it work.”
Krukemyer noted $18 million of the proposed $31 million budget is for personnel costs.
“We can’t have a lot of comp time,” he said. “We can’t afford it.”
Fiduciary Vivian Hartless said her office has only two employees, and they couldn’t do their jobs without going into comp time.
The total proposed budget would see revenues of $31.6 million on expenses of $30.8 million. The jail district has projected revenues of $4 million with expenses of $3.2 million. Krukemyer said much of the revenue from the jail district will come from housing federal prisoners.
Krukemyer said he was looking forward to input from the department heads.
“I want to work with everyone!” he said.