The Stanly County Commissioners held the required public hearing on the proposed
FY 2012-2013 county budget on June 4th, 2012.
Most everyone will agree, the county budget is a very difficult document to
interpret. The proposed budget on the county website does not include several
important columns such as the current amended budget amount and the current
budget year to date amount.
There seems to be no need for the original budget amount column since that
amount is subject to change during the year.
A good example is in the Attorneys department. The original budget amount shows
$100,000 but after the "surprise" contribution from the North Carolina Water
Rights Committee the amended budget amount is $150,000. Furthermore, from the
proposed budget document, you can't tell that the actual expenditures for that
line item this budget year through April is $127,129.
Since the proposed budget document is so difficult to interpret and since there
is so much pertinent information missing, lets hope the commissioners don't read
into the appearance of only one person at the public hearing to mean the county
taxpayers are happy with the projects and services in the next budget year or
the way they are spending the tax dollars.
In the proposed budget, the manager recommends the line item Professional
Services in the Attorney's department at $50,000. We can only hope that this
amount is sufficient; however, lets look at the history of the past 6 years. (By
the way, this is the line item used to record the expense of the County
Commissioners dispute with ALCOA.)
The following shows how much the adopted county budgeted for Professional
Services through the County Attorney's Office at the begriming of the budget
year and then how much they actually spent that same year:
Adopted budget FY 06-07 $ 20,000 actual expense $ 215,153
Adopted budget FY 07-08 $150,000 actual expense $ 667,533
Adopted budget FY 08-09 $250,000 actual expense $ 949,478
Adopted budget FY 09-10 $250,000 actual expense $1,714,967
Adopted budget FY 10-11 $250,000 actual expense $1,085,775
Adopted budget FY 11-12 $100,000 actual expense through 4/12 $127,129
It certainly looks like had the County Commissioners budgeted close to the
amount actually spent, it would have indicated they at least knew what they were
about to take the county and it's taxpayers through regarding this dispute with
Surely, the missing proposed budget information mentioned above will be
available to the County Commissioners for their 2 budget work sessions.
On June 4th, 2012 the County Commissioners reappointed Jim Nance of Albemarle to
the Stanly Community College Board of Trustees.
Since N.C. Rep Justin Burr maneuvered HB411 through the legislature in June of
2011, the appointments to the Community College Board of Trustees once held by
the Stanly County Board of Education is now made by the County Commissioners.
With their new authority, which they publicly claim they did not request, the
County Commissioners used their new power to remove school board appointment and
Trustee Vice Chair Bill Rigsbee.
The 2 applicants for the Board of Trustees were Dr. Christopher Bramlett of
Albemarle and Dr. Gerald Poplin of Albemarle. According to their application,
Dr. Bramlett applied for appointment on May 25th, 2012 and Dr. Poplin applied
for appointment October 27th, 2010.
The county commissioners chose Dr. Christopher Bramlett to replace Bill Rigsbee.
Surely it's just coincidence that Christopher Bramlett is, also, a member of the
North Carolina Water Rights Committee and signed the check on behalf of the
committee payable to Stanly County for $50,000. The Stanly County Commissioners
acknowledged the contribution by budget amendment on April 2nd, 2012 even though
the check was dated August 31st, 2011. The check notes it is for "legal fees."
The North Carolina Water Rights Committee website states that it is no longer
available; however, more information and email documents about the committee
activities can be found on www.theyadkinfacts.com.
More research on the county budget and county activities will follow.
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FORMER CHAIRMAN, STANLY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS