Brown started the only contentious discussion of the evening by asking about a new community development position. Ayscue informed her that the position would start in the spring to help with looking at roads in housing subdivisions, to help with Community Development Block Grants, grant-writing, and other things. He said that the position has some flexibility. He also mentioned that it had been discussed in the planning retreat.
Brown asked why the position did not start earlier.
Ayscue responded that it was the economics of the no-tax increase budget.
Brown inveighed that the money should be used from other places. She said the position was needed yesterday to explain to citizens about zoning and county-wide water and revaluation.
Ayscue responed that the position was finally in the budget, but not until April 1. He said that he would do whatever the board tells him to do.
Brown said that other people were asking for things, referring to Fire Chief Danny Wilkerson and Rescue Chief Randy Newman’s appearances at Monday evening’s board meeting. She asked why they could not be helped.
Ayscue responded that it was the board’s decision.
“You keep saying that,” Brown rejoined. “What are we supposed to tell them? We can’t help them?”
Garrison intervened, saying that the best thing to do was to make a list and deal with it at the end of the budget process. He stated that a half penny had already been added and he wondered how to get it back without raising taxes.
The discussion then turned to the new library operating within the budget the city and county are willing to give. Ayscue informed the board that the library director was working on a plan for operating on $411,000 from the county and $277,000 from the city.
Brown was incredulous, stating that the library knew the day was coming and should have had a plan A, plan B, plan C, and so forth.
County Commissioner Wilbur Boyd reiterated that the budget is based on no tax increase. He also observed that the supplimental budget is based on needing additional money. He said that we [the commission] could give up $411,000 to address additional concerns.
Board Chairman Tim Pegram stated that “all cards should be on the table”.