Follow the County’s Bouncing Budget Ball…

Public domain
Public domain

Okay, class. Time for another rip roarin’ rendition of Follow the Grays Harbor Bouncing Budget Ball. And travel reimbursements. In case you have a low pain threshold, this will go down a lot better with dessert(s). I personally recommend a second slice of raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. With double hot fudge.

In a nut shell:

  • Budget Director Brenda Sherman noted that the operating deficit “currently on the books” is $1.6M.
  • The lion’s share of increases in salaries and benefits is in Law & Justice.
  • “We’re spending more than we’re bringing in” said Sherman, who also pointed out that that’s “not sustainable, but this where we’re at right now.”
  • The deadline for departments to submit their preliminary budget requests and narratives to the budget office for 2016 is this Friday, August 14. Aloha.

Citing a recent conversation with Sheriff Rick Scott, Commissioner Vickie Raines indicated that the sheriff’s not sure he can meet the $264K reduction set for his office by the end of the year. “He’s trying hard, but it’s tough,” said Commissioner Frank Gordon.

If you’re just dying for more details or are a glutton for punishment, here are some of the numbers. “Fresh off the press” from today’s Board of Commissioners morning briefing (don’t say I didn’t warn you):

The commissioners also passed a resolution this afternoon restricting monthly mileage reimbursement for commissioners to $300, “unless otherwise noted.”

The resolution was brought forward by Commissioner Wes Cormier, who later noted that the current policy doesn’t have a $ limit. He said, “We’re creating more oversight” and that since the commishes are looking at budgets, “We need to set a good example for other departments.”

During the afternoon business session, Commissioner Gordon expressed concern about travel to and from Olympia while the legislature is in session. He said he’s never charged the county for meals and pays for functions he’s invited to out of his own pocket. He expressed concern that $300 a month won’t cover travel costs to and from Olympia. Gordon is currently the county’s representative to the WSAC Legislative Steering Committee.

Commissioners Raines said if Gordon is the county’s legislative representative (next year), he can turn in a reimbursement form for that specific travel (to and from Olympia). Gordon said he wasn’t against the resolution, but will check into using a county vehicle for future travel. Regarding the new resolution, Commissioner Raines said the commishes are trying to be “as accurate as possible” when it comes to mileage reimbursements.

Raines made a motion to approve the resolution. Cormier seconded. It passed unanimously after the brief discussion. I think. Frankly, I was focused on hammering down another slice of… Well. You know.

There were a few additional discussions related to the third courtroom project and nuisance abatement near Oakville. The latter came up during the public comments portion of the afternoon meeting. And boy, was that interesting. But I’m still trying to round up more hot fudge. So I’ll let Corey tell you about that. 🙂

Oh yeah. Everyone agreed that the county fair went really well, despite a bit of wet weather on Saturday.

See? That wasn’t so bad, was it?