A Budget Adoption Meeting 5PM before the 5:30 PM Regular Session,
as alluded to at
yesterday morning’s Work Session.
Is this a second Budget Hearing?
Does it count if it’s not advertised as a Hearing?
And it turns out the proposed budget is on the county’s website,
just not where they previously said it would be.
Lowndes County Board of Commissioners
327 N. Ashley St – Commission Chambers, 2nd Floor Administration Building
Apparently everyone is really supposed to watch the county’s
website every day.
They did send email to department heads about that meeting.
They could have also sent that to interested parties.
But they didn’t.
And almost nobody showed up.
Chairman Bill Slaughter started this morning’s budget session as
“the first of our two public meetings on the budget before that
budget will be adopted; basically a work session to go over the budget.”
Does that mean it is a Public Hearing?
If so, why do the county’s front page and calendar link to
a blank page for a “Budget Session”,
and there’s no Public Notice, even though there were
Public Notices for
the two road abandonments on the agenda for the Work Session and Regular Session?
How can it be a Public Hearing if it’s not announced as such
and the public doesn’t know about it?
Gretchen says that near the end they clarified that this was not a
Public Hearing, and there would be two actual Public Hearings
before the budget was adopted, although when is still a mystery.
a video playlist, followed by links to the individual videos.
There are no links to an agenda, because the county didn’t publish an agenda, nor a draft budget.
Yesterday’s County Commission meeting was billed as a
Budget Discussion Meeting,
and apparently it was not a public hearing on the county’s budget,
because state law requires such a hearing to be advertised in the newspaper
or published as a news story, a week in advance.
This is different from public notice for other Commission meetings:
for budget hearings the notice has to be not just sent to the newspaper:
it has to be published, and not in the legal notices section,
and it has to appear at least a week before the hearing.
It’s also illegal
to refuse to provide a copy of the submitted
draft budget to the public or the news media:
On the day that the proposed budget is submitted to the governing
authority for consideration, a copy of the budget shall be placed in
a public location which is convenient to the residents of the unit
of local government. The governing authority shall make every effort
to provide convenient access to the residents during reasonable
business hours so as to accord every opportunity to the public to
review the budget prior to adoption by the governing authority. A
copy of the budget shall also be made available, upon request, to
the news media.
Your second (and final) chance to comment on the 2012-2013 Lowndes County budget
is Tuesday, June 26th at 5:00pm. The Lowndes County Calendar indicates that the Budget Hearing will be immediately ahead of the County Commission Meeting. I suggest arriving at least 5 minutes early.
At the first hearing, on July 19th, Finance Director Stephanie Black gave a power point presentation overview of the budget. You can view a PDF of that presentation .
Videos of the first budget hearing are available
And, the details of the budget are available for review in the reception area of the Lowndes County Commissioners Office (3rd Floor – 327 Ashley Street) or you can check out the
low quality photos I took of them after the meeting.
Budget amendments on the agenda for the Lowndes County Commission Work Session Monday at 8:30 AM 25 June 2012 and Regular Session 5:30 PM Tuesday 26 June 2012. See if you can find some clues to what those amendments might be in the the videos of last week’s budget hearing.
Also this week: appointments to four boards (Parks & Rec, Construction, KLVB, and Library), a public hearing on a road abandonment (Brinson Drive), and the County Manager has something to say about FY 2010 Community Development Block Grant. Plus a bunch of service contracts. Here’s the agenda for tomorrow and Tuesday.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS PROPOSED AGENDA WORK SESSION, MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012, 8:30 a.m. REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012, 5:30 p.m. 327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
Quite a few people showed up at the Lowndes County Commission
public hearing about abandoning part of Bethany Road, speaking pro and con.
We learned many interesting reasons for abandoning that road,
which would apply to many dirt and maybe paved roads in the county,
many of which are on the county’s paving list.
More about that and an interesting view of the press in later posts.
First, here’s what we’re talking about.
Abandonment of a Portion of Bethany Road,
County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, presented a request by citizens for the
abandonment of a portion of Bethany Road. Mr. Fletcher explained that
the Commission was being asked to make an initial determination that
either the section of the county road system has been ceased to be used
by the public to the extent that no substantial purpose is served by it,
or that its removal from the county road system is otherwise in the best
public interest. Mr. Fletcher added that once the initial determination
was made, staff would move forward with the appropriate advertising of
a public hearing at which time the Commission could make a final decision.
in which County Engineer Mike Fletcher said the part of Bethany Road
to be abandoned runs from Bethany Drive down through the Stith
and Turner family properties towards Old US 41 North
as far as the Rykard property,
and that all residents would still have access out to other roads.
County Manager Joe Pritchard noted that
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