Knox County budget gets initial approval

By Stephen Betts | Nov 08, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts The final public hearing on the proposed 2020 Knox County budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. This photo is from a Knox County Commissioner meeting in October.

Rockland — The Knox County Budget Committee gave its unanimous approval to a 2020 county budget of less than $12 million, which has been whittled down about $45,000 since it was first submitted.

The final public hearing and votes by the Budget Committee and Commissioners is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Knox County courthouse.

The budget will require about $400,000 more in property taxes from the Knox County communities compared to the 2019 budget.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 11, 2019 20:15

Thank goodness Stephen that you read my fodder, I was afraid you did not ever read even one sentence. If believe that you are slightly is disagreement with me on the issue of money, its value, is best use comparing the younger folks (not sure of the age bracket you tend to have so much faith in) and their ability to handle money. With the pressures of young families, the presence of drugs (in some cases) the expense of cars, the expense of homes, rents, and all the expenses of raising a family I do not believe that unless we are talking well past 35-40 year old that they are capable of handling large sums of money in the public interest. I am not saying that the elder folks are perfect at it in general, what I am saying is the older folks with the experience of handling money, for the public arena, such a retired bankers (who may be fed up with handling money) or other financial experts if chosen properly (and were willing to run for office) we would get highly qualified people to oversea the budgets of schools, county government, city government and all the way to Washington, the big house on the hill. You see also mixed in with the elder experienced folks we need people who can say no, who can dissect and reformulate and recalculate and reshape our financial structure. So much of handling budgets is from reading a book, prior budget analysis, and not enough emphasis is placed on "the big picture" that faces us now and in the future. As long as we do not say no to all the wants and desires of the agency in mind we will never, never, ever lower taxes and present a logical, workable budget that we can live with. In your home if you do not have future income to cover some "want" you have a greater tendency to look at future "needs" and work on those. If you look at some of the new buildings that we are paying for in any area of government, education, or whatever it might be that requires tax dollars I bet you can go through and find areas where costs may have been cut. Whether enough to consider making those changes would take some time and effort. If you look at some of the new government buildings, schools and such just imagine whether or not there is a need for tv all over the buildings, copy machines and computers everywhere, does everyone need a cell phone, do we need sidewalks paved in "art" form, do we need to move office space around, only a few thoughts. There are big ones believe me far beyond this trivial fodder here.

I believe we need the financial expertise from retired folks in many walks of live. What we do not need is folks who form alliances by running for office that have a total disregard for what the financial constraints of the community really are and what is best considering the past, present, and future needs, capabilities, and accomplishments should be. The fault with placing overly rich, overly egotistical, or just plain incompetent in government does not come with an age barrier, it is called playing your cards, using your friends, and taking advantage of what you can get out of it.


Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Nov 10, 2019 10:40

Dale I say younger because I believe the younger generation has a better understanding of how to pinch pennies.  They are generally working in low paying jobs and paying high rents.  Many also are burdened with college debt.  The current "older" commissioners and board members are much more comfortable financially, better paying jobs their house is paid, family grown and are from the generation that wants more public services.  In the U.S. congress, our new representative from New York Cortez was a struggling waitress before being elected to congress.  Now she is stirring things up because she knows the pain of "just getting by" .  Then you have house speaker Nancy Pelosi who is worth over $100 million and who could care less what the dancing peasants want.  As far as the sitting committee is concerned, yes you are correct, anyone who speaks up against their ever increasing budgets is just wasting their breath.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Nov 09, 2019 22:57

Except for a few pennies here and there to show some face this budget will slide right through under the radar. Stephen does someone younger have to always be the answer. There are plenty of folks with financial/accounting backgrounds that are quite capable of offering expertise, just not in the click. Budgets never go down in public services because wages and benefits are the key factor that is always going to rise, above what we can afford, yes. The public always falls on deaf ears because when you make a suggestion it offends someone and that just is not cricket. Have you not learned yet, my friend, it is a waste of time to get involved and get a rat's behind in government, especially local issues where everyone knows your name and maybe like me, the people resent that and dislike me for it. Who cares, I say and I own it.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Nov 09, 2019 10:59

Ladies & gentleman there's still time to reduce the budget by $400,000 and make it neutral for the coming year. Evidently my comments at the first public hearing must have fallen on deff ears.  Taxpayers cannot continue to carry this ever increasing burden.  It is possible to deliver a budget that provides services within our limits, it just takes a little more work.  If this exceeds your expertise then kindly step aside and let someone younger take the reigns.

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