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Commissioners hear yearly budget on 1st reading

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The Board of Commissioners took their first crack at getting a yearly budget at Monday’s meeting. 

There were just a few changes that the commissioners requested during the meeting. 

Vice Mayor James Maness requested that a line item that would have allowed the Board of Commissioners to get insurance get removed. The cost was $15,000. Commissioner Jim Bradshaw wanted to keep the measure. 

“I would like to get dental insurance,” said Bradshaw. 

Mayor Ed Hagerty said the item might not even be legal, and that it wouldn’t go into effect until another election cycle had gone through, which wouldn’t be during this budget cycle. Commissioner Ray Justice agreed.

“There is no sense in voting for it this year anyway,” said Justice. 

The amendment passed 3-1 with Bradshaw voting against it. 

Mayor Hagerty wanted to eliminate the cost of living raise for city employees, which was two percent, and raise the merit raise from 1.5 percent to 3 percent. He said there was no reason to give a raise to an employee that was under performing. He said 90-95 percent of employees at the city offices would receive the full three percent because they do an excellent job. He referenced some of the people that were fired with the scandal last year, and an employee that was driving circles around the building. Bradshaw argued that all of those workers were terminated, so that problem was resolved. The measure failed 2-2. 

Hagerty tried to make the cost of living raise at one percent and a merit raise at two percent, but it failed as well. 

Hagerty also requested that the money to the Regional Transit Authority be delayed until October. The RTA had requested $50,000, up from $30,000 last year. That measure passed 4-0. 

In other business, the commissioners denied a request by Storage Port America, located at 9601 Lebanon Road, from CRC to CG. The change would be for the front part of the property. Hagerty said he believed the plan was to build nicer storage units up in the front. The commissioners felt there could be a better use for the property beside more storage units. 

The commissioners also approved an ordinance for changes to mixed use buildings. 

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