County Commission Eyes Budget, Bucks


There’s good news and there’s not-so-good news out of the Grays Harbor County Commission today. The good news: It’s Monday. Start of a brand new week. Not-so-good: It’s Monday. Start of…. well. You know.

The budget took up a large chunk of this morning’s session. There was a bit of chatter regarding last week’s Cascadia Rising emergency management/training thing. Also an executive session regarding the “performance of a public employee.” No decisions were made. No action taken.

A “Collective Bargaining Session – closed under RWC 42.30.140(4)” was also on the docket. You know how these deals work. No one can get in without the secret password: “Spending other people’s moola.” (Did I say that out loud? Well, doggone.)

Anyway, Budget Director Brenda Sherman presented a budget update reflecting data up to May 31. Basically, the county general fund ended May with about $7.3M in cash. Sherman said that number is up “about 10%” from last year.” Altho that number “could be a timing thing,” it’s up about $400K in new revenue from last year. The number includes a decrease of about $200K in expenditures thus far this year, according to Sherman. Bottom line: the county is still spending more than it’s bringing in, said Sherman, “but it’s a smaller gap.”


Thank God for small gaps?

Here’s a graph of General Fund Revenue vs. Expenditures 2012-2016. In case you’re running low on Sominex.


Below is the GH County Budget Calendar for 2016. The first budget amendment hearing is set for June 27. The deadline for submitting preliminary budget requests to the budget office is August 8. Budget meetings with the commishes are set for October and November.

Isn’t this fun?


Sherman also presented a packet to Commissioners Vickie Raines, Frank Gordon and Wes Cormier containing about 9 million “supplemental and emergency” budget requests from like a zillion different departments.  (Well, okay. Maybe it was only eight.) Everyone from the Board of Equalization to the Assessor ‘s Office to the Prosecutor’s Office needs more bucks to make it through the end of the year.

Have you had your second cup of coffee yet? Good. You may need it to recall that little dust-up over permitting I told you about last week a la Xpress Natural Gas. Public Works Director Joseph Seet was going to go out to the Satsop building site and do a personal look-see. Well, he did. And he reported back this morning. Seet said there are “no outstanding issues” with the building project and “everything’s moving forward.”

There. Now that didn’t hurt, did it?

A civil engineer, PW Director Seet was appointed County Engineer by the Commission last week. He wears both hats.

Seet said he’ll be attending tonight’s Block Watch meeting at 6:00 p.m. in Central Park to explain what’s going on with cross walks/stop signage/flashers there. Seet also said he’s trying to get grant $ to fund a speed awareness program for the area in 2017.

One other thing: Never attend these shindigs hungry. Whether it’s talk of best Sloppy Joe recipes or barbecuing burgers made with Worchestershire sauce and Lipton’s onion soup mix, it’s enough to make anyone tie on the ‘ole feed bag. Pronto.

Is it lunchtime yet?