County Commissioners make progress on 2014 budget


November 07, 2013
OSSIPEE — If you have an interest in county government and have the better part of a day to spare, the Wednesday Carroll County Commissioners meeting during budget season might be just the place to be.

For the second week in a row, commissioners spent more than four hours hearing budget presentations from various county department heads and tending to some weekly business. Commissioners have heard budget presentations from the sheriff, registrar of deeds, county attorney, human resources director, and jail superintendent. Still to come are the farm and the nursing home budgets. Commissioners have until the end of the month to finalize their overall budget recommendation and submit it to N.H. Department of Revenue Administration by Dec. 1. The budget will then undergo four more months of scrutiny as the county delegation subcommittees and then the full delegation negotiate and then take the final vote on the 2014 Carroll County budget.

Some of the highlights in the budget requests so far include a major upgrade to the communications equipment in the dispatch center, a request to change the human resource generalist position from hourly to salaried, and installation of a secure wireless internet connection in the courthouse for use by county attorney's staff.

The third quarter county financial statement has been posted on the website at www.carrollcountynh.net under the "Commissioner's Office" tab. This statement details the budget amounts approved for each department for 2013 and where, as of Sept. 30 each department stands in their spending.

Other items discussed at the Oct. 30 county commissioner's meeting include:

Commissioners expect an announcement will be made very soon as to who will be hired to fill the vacant captain position at Carroll County Department of Corrections. Commissioners said a committee was formed and corrections officers from other facilities are weighing in on the decision.

Commissioner Asha Kenney took issue with the way the meeting minutes are being prepared and once again voted not to approve them, an act that is becoming routine. Her complaint Oct. 30 was that while her comments were only given brief mention in the minutes, comments from members of the public are spelled out in detail. She said that what the commissioners say is more important than what the public says and should be given more space in the minutes. When asked several times by Commissioner David Babson what she would like added to the minutes, what statements she wanted included, Kenney gave no specific examples. Finally, exasperated by the pressure, she said, "I oppose and that's it." "I think the secretary is doing an outstanding job. These are the best minutes I have seen here in years and I don't think the secretary should be chastised," Babson said.

Commissioners agreed to put the "Missing" Abigail Hernandez posters at the entrances of the county administration building. Hernandez, 15, has been missing since Oct. 9 when she left school at Kennett High in North Conway and hasn't been seen since. Her mother, Zenya, is a nurse at the county's nursing home, Mountain View Community.

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