treasurer still upset by cut in staff
she 'won't be able to provide all support'
A week after hearing the news that 13 county employees
jobs would be impacted by the proposed 2006 budget, county
officeholders are still struggling to deal with the announcement
made by the Platte County Commission last Tuesday.
Treasurer Bonnie Brown, who has been in office for five
years, has continued to express her displeasure with the
commissioners' decision to make reductions in payroll
amounts available to offices.
With Browns office being reduced from two full-time
employees to 1 1/2 persons, she is certain that reduction
will have some sort of negative affect on the treasurers
We certainly wont be able to run it as efficiently
as we have in the past or provide all of the support we
have in the past, said Brown.
There are a lot of things that happen in my office
that are detail oriented and that require time and efficiency.
When you're dealing with less staff to deal with those
duties, its hard to maintain that efficiency.
Brown specifically pointed to how her office prepares
great spreadsheets that give great detail on sales
tax revenues and provide great TIF amounts that arent
state required for the commissioners.
I want my office to be as efficient as they can
so they may not be as timely, stated Brown. Im
not saying they wont be cut out, I just dont
know at this point. I havent determined what will
be cut and where.
Presiding Commissioner Betty Knight however said despite
the new budget cuts she expects each office to still work
toward providing the same customer service as before.
As officeholders, we have a responsibility to the
public and I believe all of us work very hard and I think
we just need to run the office as efficiently as we can,
said Knight. I presume every officeholder would
do that even if there are budget cuts.
Brown is a Democrat, the county commissioners are all
Republicans. The county's budget cuts affected offices
across the board, regardless of political party of the
officeholder. Brown told The Landmark last week she would
rather have seen the commission raise taxes instead of
Browns office is solely responsible for the management
of the countys checking account to make sure all
funds are accounted for and to make sure any excess funds
that are not being used are being invested in a prudent
and timely manner.
Its hard to put into dollars and cents what
they (my employees) give to me and what this office gives
to this county. We take pride in what we do in this office
and having less time and money is sad because we do take
pride in what we do, stated Brown.
While Brown is handling the staff cuts with some resentment,
Recorder of Deeds Ida Cox is trying to add her own personal
touch of a sense of humor to the difficult situation in
the administration building.
Were still trying to work through the shock,
said Cox. Most of us are still carrying tissues
On Friday afternoon, Cox visited The Landmark office
carrying her own roll of toilet paper.
Ive even encouraged my employees to bring
their own toilet paper to help the county out because
were not too fond of corn cobs, she stated.
Even though Cox has tossed around a few jokes in the
last week, she said her office is trying to accommodate
the countys situation.
I know from my heart that the commission is working
hard. Were working the best we can with the budget
they gave us and Im doing everything I can to make
the process go as evenly as possible, said Cox.
Knight said county offices were not the only ones affected
by this years budget cuts.
Commissioners also announced that funding for the Platte
County EDC (Economic Development Council) and the Convention
and Visitors Bureau would also be affected, as well as
funding of the Public Works Department.
Both the EDC and CVB will no longer be receiving funding
from the county.
In 2005, the commission voted to reduce the EDCs
funding from $100,000 to $75,000. The new budget line
for the EDC now contains only an expenditure of $10,000
that will be used to purchase the county a membership
to the organization.
At the CVB, they will see a loss of approximately $55,000
in revenue from the county in 2006.
Second District Commissioner Jim Plunkett said last year
$54,781 in general funds were appropriated to the CVB.
This year, the commissioners chose to cut that funding
There just wasnt money available, said
Plunkett, about the need to cut funds from the CVB and
The CVB will now be forced to rely solely on revenue
it receives from a 1/4 cent hotel tax that is implemented
throughout the county.
Every department was asked to take reductions,
said Knight. The EDC and CVB were cut and the amount
of money to public works was reduced dramatically. Its
about looking at the numbers and making the numbers work.
The public works department, which is in charge of the
countys roads and bridges in unincorporated Platte
County, will see a $30,000 reduction in money from the
Plunkett stated in 2005, public works was granted $94,200
in funds to operate their department. This year, Director
Greg Sager will only have $63,904 to work with in his
According to Knight, by making the necessary budget cuts
the commission was setting out to achieve one goal.
What were trying to do is tell the general
public we werent going to ask them to pay more taxes
to fund county government. We need to live in our budget
just like a family would, said Knight.