Columbia County Passes $91,198,049 Budget without a word of discussion
Columbia County, FL (Posted September 23, 2011 01:55 pm)
The Columbia County Commission as they are about to approve the 2012 budget. Chairman DuPree was the only commissioner who dressed down for the event, coming to the meeting in work boots, jeans and a dungaree shirt. Long time Commissioner, Ron Williams can be seen slouching in his chair way to the left.
Last night, September 22, 2011, at the Columbia County Commission final budget hearing only two members from the public showed up. As reported earlier, up and until the mid 2000's, the County scheduled one of its budget hearings to accommodate the public at one of its regularly scheduled board meetings. These meetings were lively and generally well attended – no more.
Long time County Manager Dale Williams presented the budget to an empty house and a silent County Commission.
While County revenue is down, there is no tax increase for the coming year.
Mr. DuPree opened the budget hearing and once again no one came to talk or ask questions about the budget. Columbia County has approximately 70,000 residents.
Ms. Rita Dopp of the United Way of Suwannee Valley, believing she was at a budget workshop, approached the microphone and asked that County Commission consider financial support for the many community impact initiatives of which the United Way is involved.
At the conclusion of Ms. Dopp's presentation, with no one in attendance to speak about the budget, Mr. DuPree closed the hearing.
Shortly thereafter the board passed a resolution to accept the budget and the budget process was over for another year, to the relief of the County Manager, who is the man in charge of preparing and presenting the budget.