Boone County Commission proposes largest budget yet

Dec 5, 2013

Members of the public attended an open meeting of the Boone County Commission Tuesday evening for the next fiscal year’s budget. The public testimony was sparsely attended and yielded no comment on the proposed $65 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year, the county’s largest.

The commission will hold another public hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Boone County Government Center.

District 2 Commissioner Janet Thompson said while the turnout for the first public hearing on the budget was small, the lack of comment is considered routine. She also said the low headcount may reflect there are few concerns over the coming fiscal year’s budget.

“Typically, unless you have an issue with something being cut back about which you feel passionate, often you don’t raise your voice, and I think that’s probably the case with this,” Thompson said.

District 1 Commissioner Karen Miller noted there have been only a couple of comments to the commission about changes in the county budget made in more than 20 years.

“I think part of the reason we don’t have a lot of public comment is the fact that we are accessible,” Miller said. “People can pick up the phone and call us and say, ‘Why are you doing ‘X?’’ or ‘Why did you make this decision?’”

Miller said the increase in the budget from last year accounts for new sources of income, like the recently installed children’s services tax and the 911 emergency management sales tax. The commission plans to adopt the proposed budget Dec. 18.