Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget-setting meetings scheduled
We have established the dates for the budget-setting meetings of the Pocahontas County Commission for Fiscal Year 2012-2013. Our fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. Four meetings are scheduled, with the first three being for budget discussion and figuring, and the fourth being for adoption of the budget. All budget meetings by law are open to the public, and these meetings will take place in the county commission room at the courthouse.
The dates for the first three budget meetings are Thursday, March 8, Friday, March 9, and Thursday, March 15. These three meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. The fourth budget meeting will occur as part of our regular commission meeting on Tuesday, March 20, beginning at 5 p.m.
Additional meetings might need to be scheduled due to the need for more budgetary work than anticipated. In this event, any additional meetings will be publicly noticed, as well.
We are facing several issues heading into the budgeting process. Among them, the Pocahontas County Historical Preservation Project needs financial assistance in order to qualify for further grant funding and to continue operation in the year ahead. Animal welfare, which we currently bid on an annual basis, continues to rely on the county for funding. Law enforcement staffing and funding is one of the most challenging aspects of county government. We will need to work with the Sheriff's Department together to understand these challenges and find balance - balance that acknowledges the costs of overtime, the struggles of deputy retention, and the limits of county funding, given a still-stagnant economy.
During the budgeting process, the County Commission will hear from county department heads and elected officials on the issues they are facing. This process is key in our mutual understanding of the overall county governmental challenges and how we are going to address funding concerns together. It is truly a pleasure to be part of such a cooperative process, and we look forward to working together in improving the funding and fiscal responsibility of Pocahontas County government.
On a different, but familiar matter, I want to take a moment to express the unanimous gratitude of the Pocahontas County Commission to the members and staff of the Pocahontas County Public Service District for their diligent and tireless work. Thanks to board members David Litsey, Tom Shipley and Amon Tracey. Even though so many of us are aware of the Snowshoe area sewer issue, I wanted to make sure that we all know how very long they have labored with this task. There is yet a long way to go, but this board has unanimously found a way forward that has community consensus the likes of which this project has never seen before. Much thanks, too, to Ricky Barkley, Lloyd Coleman and Heidi Hickson, who are in the trenches - many days literally so - keeping operations going. The Pocahontas County Commission is wholeheartedly grateful to you all, and we wish for you great speed and peace.
The Pocahontas County Commission serves you. Sign up at www.PocahontasCountyCommission.com to receive agendas via email, and please contact us anytime with your questions, thoughts and concerns. I can be reached at 304-456-4016 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Commissioner Martin Saffer at 304-653-4418 or email@example.com, and Commissioner Jamie Walker at 304-799-0864. Our assistant Sue Helton can be reached at 304-799-6063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.