WC 2024 Budget information to consider after the October Finance & Budget meeting:
This is the reason we’ve had a nice cushion in the General Reserve Fund (“GRF”). In 2021 the QC transferred $3,427,272.51 of CARES Act money which was supposed to be used to help the community during the pandemic but, instead, went into savings. It has been used for items like: cameras, new job positions, salary increases for a few, etc. NONE went to direct aid to the community.
We’ve been spending money from GRF like crazy all year.
County Judge is asking for an increase in his emergency fund from $75K to $300K.
Our property and casualty insurance costs have increased tremendously. I think that’s pretty much out of our control. Insurance rates everywhere have increased enormously.
Likewise with our health insurance costs. Again, not unique to WC, but I do not want our county employees to absorb this increase. We need to find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Budget as proposed includes big raises for elected officials and I don’t see that happening.
106% increase in Quorum Court budget. Including $8K for meals and lodging? Not sure what that’s about. I don’t see that passing either - unless there’s a logical explanation of which I’m unaware. Certainly not if it’s for salaries for JPs. Who thought this was a good idea?
How many new positions have been created and funded from GRF?
How much money has the county spent on changing the county seal? Maybe that amount is insignificant (I have no idea), but it’s a question and we need to know, but is any amount insignificant when we’re dealing with taxpayer dollars? I think it is not.
How much has the county spent defending lawsuits that might have been avoided with proper training and risk management?
The Sheriff has asked for $1.6M salary increases. It’s not just the sheriff, though.
The 2024 budget is $112M (if it’s passed as now written) and that’s up from $97M for 2023!
If we had passed the budget that night as it is/was, that would have cut our unappropriated reserves to less than $500K. This is unsustainable.
What questions do you have? Let me know and I will get you answers.