Centralized budgeting discussed by panel

By MIKE WEST/ Courier Editor

Discussion about centralized financing for Cannon County government was the focus of Thursday's Audit Committee meeting.

"Centralized financing is exactly what the County Commission wants," Commission Chairman Bob Stoetzel told the committee members.

Cannon County needs to do something different than in the past. Centralized financing should save taxpayers thousands of dollars a year, Stoetzel said.

Currently, Cannon County's financial program is divided between departments with each handling their own purchasing with the commission having approval on major expenditures.

The 10-man County Commission is the policy-making and legislative authority in Cannon County. Commissioners set personnel policies for the for the county, appropriate funds for county departments and set the property tax rate.

A centralized budget system would run the county's finances and expenditures through one office. Establishing one in each of Tennessee's 95 counties is the goal of Gov. Bill Haslam.
Stoetzel said Cannon County officials have studied Bedford County's centralized budget office and were very impressed with it.

"We urge you, if there is any good way, to get this instituted locally," Stoeztel told the committee members.
Glenn Steakley, audit committee chairman, said that could be a proper goal for his committee to act on during its second year.

"We didn't want to go into it with a hammer our first year. Last year was a baseline year," Steakley said, explaining that the committee began the process of developing job descriptions for the various county positions as its initial goal.