Commission Changes Budget Amendment Policy
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Some of Cannon County’s money matters will now be handled in a different manner following action Tuesday night by the County Commission.

County offices and agencies whose funds are handled by the county will now have to present budget amendments to the commission’s Budget Committee for a recommendation of approval before they go to the full commission.

“We will be better off as a commission if we have amendments go through the Budget Committee,” Commission Chairman Bob Stoetzel said.

In a letter sent to department heads and elected or appointed officials, the chairman stated that “if it becomes apparent to the management of Cannon County government that the authorized budget needs to be amended, the procedure calls for the chairman to be notified which in turn will notify the Budget Committee to meet and review the requested budget amendment. After the particular budget amendment is reviewed will then be placed on the agenda of the next scheduled county commission meeting.”

Stoetzel noted that in the past, the practice of county government has been to approve numerous, large budget amendments during the month of June to “clean up” the final budget.

“This practice will no longer take place,” Stoetzel said in informing department heads that “failure to follow this procedure may result in the denial of your budget amendment request and the need for the county official to reimburse the county for the unauthorized expenditure of tax funds.”

Per state law, Stoetzel said, funds must be appropriated by the county commission prior to actual expenditure. The only legal exception to the law is a need that arises from an unforeseen emergency. The failure of management to properly plan is not an emergency, he added.

The new policy had immediate ramifications as the commissioners decided the table a budget amendment request from the R.E.A.C.H. Afterschool Program until its next meeting, set for Dec. 13. Also Grady George, chief of the Eastside Volunteer Fire Department, who approached the Commission seeking approval for purchasing a truck to put a cascade system the fire department was awarded off of a grant, was informed that he would have to take the matter before the Budget Committee.

It was decided that the Budget Committee would meet prior to the regular commission meeting each month to review amendment requests.

Members Opinions:
November 09, 2011 at 12:03pm
The only issue I see with this amendment is being the commission only meets once a quarter unless specially called. What if the money cannot wait three months? This policy is good if the frequency of meetings with the commissioners are changing, but with all new policies bugs have to be worked out.
November 09, 2011 at 5:05pm
efisk the commissioners voted last month to meet on a monthly basis beginning this month. No one will have to wait three months before a decision is made now. I believe the schedule calls for them to meet the first Tuesday of every month.

This is also a good move. I congratulate Chairman Stoetzel and the commissioners for enacting a policy that should have been instituted years ago.

I never understood the idea behind approving ammendments to budgets that had already been approved because they were submitted at a later date.

That never seemed logical or a good business practice, however when asked why it was a practice it was said that it was "the way we had always done it".

I am glad to see that the days of "the way we have always done it" are changing!
November 09, 2011 at 5:08pm
"I believe the schedule calls for them to meet the first Tuesday of every month."

The second, not first, Tuesday of each month is when meetings are scheduled, for now.
November 09, 2011 at 5:21pm
Oops, sorry!

Thanks for the correction Kevin!
November 10, 2011 at 9:28am
Corey...thanks for that info I was not aware of that change. I have not been able to make a meeting for the last few months due to scheduling conflicts.

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