Sunday, September 5, 2010

Two Council Committees Review Budgets This Week

The City-County Council's Administration and Finance committee and the Public Safety committee will consider budgets this week. They will also take public comment on these particular budgets. Both meet in room 260 of the City-County Building and begin at 5:30 pm.

On Tuesday, September 7, the Admin & Finance committee takes a look at the budgets for the City-County Council and Clerk, the Election Board, Voter Registration, the Marion County Recorder, and the Marion County Surveyor. Each of these budgets are summarized in the budget summary book, published online. See pages 64, 80, 82, 84, and 88, of the pdf, respectively.

The City-County Council is asking for $1,669,793, down from this year's $1,752,448. But, this year includes an extraordinary item - $290,000 for redistricting. At last year's budget hearing, Melissa Thompson, Clerk of the Council, and then-President Bob Cockrum testified that they would begin redistricting late in 2010 and ask for a like amount for early 2011. this proposal has drawn quite a bit of flack, including from me (see "Budget Hearings -- All Admin & Finance Committee Budgets") as being premature, given that the 2010 census figures will not be available in time for this scheduled redistricting and the process would have to be repeated in 2012 to comply with state law.

The Election Board budget is proposed to be $3,310,790, down from this year's $3,495,492.

The Voter Registration budget proposal is for $954,467, down from this year's $1,001,080.

The Marion County Recorder budget is $1,883,650, down from $2,040,540 this year.

The Marion County Surveyor budget is $559,476, up from $500,514.

The Public Safety committee will consider the budgets for County Coroner, Forensic Service Agency, and Community Corrections. You can find their budgets on pages 24, 22, 34 of the pdf, respectively.

The Coroner's budget is being proposed at $4,238,727, up significantly from last year's $2,980,769. The increases are in salaries, professional services contracts, and office furniture & equipment (see pages 50-51 of the 'Expenses by Agency' book). Federal grants are expected to jump from $53,050 this year, to $1,391,109 next.

The budget for the Forensic Service Agency is $6,612,483, up from $6,139,938 this year. The increases appear to be mostly for increased personnel costs, laboratory supplies, conference & travel expenses, maintenance/licensing agreements, professional services contracts, and equipment (see pages 68-69 of the 'Expenses by Agency' book). Both federal grants and money from the county general fund are proposed to increase.

The Community Corrections budget is proposed at $9,546,942, down from $10,441,410 this year. Major cuts in funding from Home Detention and federal stimulus money could be important factors, driving the cuts.

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