Gannon Won’t Sign Off On Budget

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Cannon County Executive Mike Gannon won't put his name on the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget approved by the Cannon County Commission last week.

The Commission passed a budget calling for total Appropriations (expenditures) of $26,232,863.

To help fund the expenditures the Commission fixed the Property Tax Levy at $2.44 on each $100 of taxable property, the same as last year.

In a letter to Commissioners dated Aug. 17, Gannon explained his decision to let the budget go into effect without his signature.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for your service to the citizens of Cannon County. As a former County Commissioner, I know first-hand that many times it is a thankless job. As County Executive, my office strives to assist you in any way possible in your attempt to make Cannon County the best it can be.

"However, I must share with you a concern I have with the fiscal year 2012/2013 budget passed by the County Commission on August 14, 2012. The Commission may be faced next year with severe spending cuts, a property tax increase, or both just to maintain the spending level of this year. I made the Budget Committee aware of this possibility during the budget hearings.

"Three years ago, at the end of the budget year, the County General budget had a fund balance of $704,457.  The past two years have resulted in budgets ultimately approved by the County Commission with the consequence of deficit spending both years. Those two budgets depleted the County General fund balance to an estimated $457,316.

"The budget approved by the County Commission for the coming year has an estimated deficit of $337,292. That estimated deficit will deplete the County General fund balance to an estimated $120,024. Considering the conservative spending practices of all county department heads and hopefully some increase in revenue, there still will not be enough funds in the County General fund balance to sustain the expenses incurred this year.

"That leaves me with three options as County Executive. Option (1): I can sign the budget as passed by the Commission. That would make it effective immediately. Option (2): I can veto the budget which would require the commission to meet at a later date to consider overriding the veto. Option (3): I can take 10 days from passage of the budget to consider and allow the budget to become effective without my signature.

"The problem with option one is that I have serious reservations concerning the spending portion of this budget. The problem with option two is we are already into week seven of the new fiscal year. Vetoing this budget would prolong approval of a budget for another two to four weeks. I have made the decision to allow the budget to become effective in ten days without my signature.

"By taking this action, it will allow Cannon County to operate with an approved budget. This will allow all departments of county government to operate more efficiently. My hope is it will also make the commission more aware of my concerns with the inadequacies of this budget.

"As always, I am here to assist the County Commission with any matter that might arise.  I look forward to working with you in our efforts to serve the citizens of Cannon County."

Appropriations for FY2012-2013 include:

General Fund: $4,367,999.

Solid Waste/Sanitation Fund: $509,596.

Ambulance Service: $901,056.

Industrial/Economic Development Fund: $80,659.

Drug Control Fund: $81,394.

Other Special Revenue (REACH): $162,000.

Highway/Public Works Fund: $3,168,602.

General Purpose School Fund: $14,770,457.

Central Cafeteria Fund: $1,321,800.

General Debt Service Fund: $869,300.
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