Post Tagged with: "Administration Committee"

Bottleneck Hampers Horry County Budget Process

April 12, 2018 8:00 AM
Bottleneck Hampers Horry County Budget Process

There appears to be a bottleneck at the top of the Horry County budget process that may not be serving the citizens in the best possible fashion.

Early every calendar year, the various county departments submit budget proposals for their respective departments to senior county staff.

Senior staff then prepares a draft budget that becomes the document discussed at county council’s spring budget retreat and traditionally gets first reading at that time.

After the basic document is prepared, the various department heads meet with the committee that oversees policy for that department and attempt to make a case for the budget they prepared early in the year.

But, the working budget document has already been prepared by senior staff before those meetings and senior staff owns and jealously guards that document. Getting changes into it, other than those council itself may dictate, is difficult to say the least.

This process led to the lawsuit that Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones filed against Horry County Government and Administrator Chris Eldridge last fall.

Even though Jones was elected in November 2016 and would take office at the beginning of the fiscal year which began July 1, 2017, she was not allowed to participate in last year’s budget process.

When Jones got into office, she determined there was a need for several more employees in her department. She went before the county’s Administration Committee late last summer requesting just one more employee to get her department through the year. That request denied leading Jones to file suit.

The county’s answer to Jones’ complaint in the lawsuit was to attack her personally and to claim she was mishandling her duties and department.

The lawsuit between Jones and the county is ongoing, but the county is now preparing for a new budget to begin July 1, 2018.

Jones appeared before the Administration Committee earlier this week. According to information presented at the meeting, county staff had budgeted a mere $20,000 additional in operating expenses for the Treasurer’s Office next year over the current year’s budget.

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Council Nixes HCSWA – Charleston County Contract

September 2, 2015 5:00 AM
Council Nixes HCSWA – Charleston County Contract

Horry County Council failed to pass second reading of a budget amendment that is required for the HCSWA to take recyclables from Charleston County.

A budget amendment requires an absolute super majority vote of council, nine “Yes” votes, in order to pass.

The amendment received a vote of 7-4. A vote of 9-2 was required to pass second reading. Horry County Council District 3 is without a member pending a special election this fall to replace Marion Foxworth who resigned after the August 18th council meeting to accept the Registrar of Deeds job.

Without a budget amendment approved by county council, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority has no authority to contract with Charleston County to take recyclables from Charleston County.

But, the HCSWA already has signed that contract and has been processing recyclables from Charleston County since late July.

And, it’s not the contract itself that caused four council members to vote against the budget amendment Tuesday night.

Rather, it’s the process, or lack of it, that the HCSWA used to come to an agreement with Charleston County in the first place.

According to past statements by several HCSWA officials, Charleston County first approached the HCSWA in late May 2015 about taking recyclables for processing at the HCSWA material recovery facility on Hwy 90.

At that point, the HCSWA should have informed Horry County Council what was being discussed and the ramifications for the HCSWA budget, which is part of the overall county budget approved by council.

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