County Adopts Budget, Argues Over Changes
The Moore County Board of Commissioners adopted its 2010-2011 budget Monday, but it wasn't without changes or controversy.
The board voted 3-2 to approve the $84.9 budget, which leaves the property rate unchanged at 46.5 cents per $100 valuation.
The new budget is nearly $4.5 million, or 5 percent, less than the current budget.
County Manager Cary McSwain tried to present the board with five possible changes, with commissioners to vote on each one separately
During McSwain's presentation, Commissioner Nick Picerno requested that in the interest of time, the changes be acted on in one motion.
"There is no hidden agenda," Picerno said. "It's just something that will simplify the process and makes more sense to me."
Board Chairman Tim Lea said Picerno's way lacked transparency.
"The intent was to go through this so everybody would be able to see the changes that are made," he said.
Picerno, Jimmy Melton and Larry Caddell voted for the budget. Lea and Cindy Morgan voted against it.
The changes included reinstatement of the 2 percent discount for early taxpayers ($285,740) and the inclusion of several positions and funds to restore a cut in the Sheriff's Office budget.
The school system will receive $25.5 million for current expenses, a 3 percent decrease from its request. Sandhills Community College's budget was also 3 percent less than requested.
County employees will receive no pay increases for the second consecutive year.
Contact Tom Embrey by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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