New commission to vote on school spending plans

Friday, August 20, 2010

The budget for Marshall County schools this year will have to be approved by county commissioners who were elected two weeks ago, according to the chairman of the county budget committee

The panel met this week to review financial decisions to be made at the August meeting of the commission on Monday night. That was to include the entire county budget, but without a school budget. That portion of the spending plan was removed from legal notices, Commissioner Mickey King said Thursday.

Prior to the budget committee meeting on Monday, leaders of the school system were told their spending plan had to be filed for the commission's vote at 6 p.m. Aug. 23.

"We told them that night that we had to have it by the 19th (of August) to get it in the paper," King said of publication deadlines for legal notices. "We recessed so we could meet with them. Right now, it's in their court. We've been trying to get a hold of someone to tell us what's going on."

Commissioners meet in the second floor conference room of the County Courthouse Annex on Lewisburg's public square.

"After this meeting," King said, "this commission is through."

Aug. 5 election results bring on 10 new commissioners, although some have been in office before, and there are eight commissioners returning to the panel, including King.

The commission has a special meeting on Sept. 2 to elect a chairman. Chairman Billy Spivey did not seek re-election as he's running for the state house seat held by Rep. Eddie Bass.

In early September, a nominating committee will be created to assign commissioners to various committees. That will delay the availability of commissioners for another budget committee meeting for a recommendation of the school budget to the commission when it meets on Sept. 27.

The fiscal year starts July 1. Marshall County's budget had traditionally been adopted in July, although it was a special called meeting in the middle of the month. In recent years, finalization of the budget has not been in July.

Meanwhile, the budget committee that met last week recommended a continuation of the county's property tax rate of $3.09 per $100 of assessed value. It also recommended the county accept a state grant to modify the lobby of the county health department building. Other financial matters are recommended, but the business set for Monday night is seen by King as relatively nominal compared to the lack of a budget for the school system.