Supervisors hear budget requests

By Heather Michon


While public comments surrounding the Second Amendment sanctuary issue took up the bulk of Wednesday’s (Dec. 4) Board of Supervisors meeting, there was time to pass a couple of important budget requests.

Because she did not have to hold a primary in June of 2019, County Registrar Joyce Pace had about $46,000 in unexpended budget money. She asked to carryover about $40,000 to fund the purchase of a new voting machine and for the hire of an additional part-time staffer.

Carryover requests are commonly granted when a project or purchase scheduled for one fiscal year seems to be running into the next year; this is often more expedient than making departments go back and re-request the same funding in the new fiscal year.

Pace’s request didn’t fall exactly into that category. However, supervisors do sometimes step outside these guidelines based on need.

Supervisor Don Weaver (Cunningham) said he had looked at the registrar’s budget from 2015 to 2020. Over those five years, the department’s budget had climbed from $216,000 to $257,000, or about 3.6 percent.

But he added that it had climbed 7 percent between 2019 and 2020 alone, and was set to increase again in fiscal year 2021. “Now we’re asking for an additional increase, which would go from $240,000 to $297,000, which amounts to a 23 percent increase in one year.”

He suggested deferring any funding discussion to “say, six weeks before the end of the fiscal year, so we can get a better look at things. And I’m not saying that they don’t need it, or they can’t use it, I just want a better look at it.”

“Elections cost,” said Pace.

While nothing is set in stone, new rules from the state may require her to allow voting to begin 45 days before the November elections. This means she will need one or more voting centers set up and staffed as early as mid-September.

The $40,000 would cover the cost of one Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant vote scanner, poll books, and one part-time staffer. Getting equipment ordered now and a staffer hired and trained would help her plan for whatever new rules came down from the state.

Supervisors Patricia Eager (Palmyra) and Tony O’Brien (Rivanna) felt Pace should apply for the funds during budget season. This would allow for better accounting of expenditures year by year.

“I really think that this is unusual,” said Eager

“What are we looking for?” asked Supervisor Mozell Booker. “Are we looking for this amount to be less? Why are we delaying?”

Pace added, with climbing costs and growing needs, “my next year’s budget is going to look enormous.”

Chair Mike Sheridan (Columbia) said he felt Pace needed the money for personnel now, but that the voting machine should be deferred.

The motion passed 3-2, with Weaver and Eager voting against.

There was less debate over a carryover request by Fluvanna County Public Schools of $250,000.

County Administrator Eric Dahl explained that when it looked like FCPS might have unexpended funds of about $900,000 to return to the general fund, “it was kind of a pinky swear” that $250,000 would be carried over to help repair and replenish the department’s aging fleet of school buses.

Superintendent Chuck Winkler said they have 62 buses on the road on any given school day, and of those, 29 are 15 years or older, 21 are 20 years or older, and 9 are 24 and 25 years old. The recommended replacement is at 15 years.

The motion passed 5-0.

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138