We're still a little ways away but county officials are already making plans for budget discussions.
According to top county bean counter Casual Chris Caldwell, the administration will hold a meeting with department heads on Jan. 10. At that point, directors will get whatever documents they need to prepare their budget requests.
In addition, the administration at the end of January will know just how much they have to contribute to pension funds for the upcoming fiscal year, which doesn't start until next July. (This current year it was $8.2 million for the three pension plans, including two that are closed.)
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett plans to present his budget on May 1 and then the county commission will vote on it June 6.
Caldwell invited commissioners during their monthly luncheon to come hang out with him and his crew early next year. He said he'd provide a brief overview “about what we do in this process, what we do from start to finish and go over the projection process, so you can see what we do.”
He added: “I don't think it's bad to have too much information, and seeing how the process works may give you a better understanding of what we go through and let you see how some of the decisions are made.”
The Casual One was more than likely suggesting that maybe the board won't be so hard on the administration the next time revenue projections are off by, oh say, $24.2 million.
Caldwell later said: “Once we get all the requests in we're out $11 million to $15 million, so you'll get to see how we get there (balancing the budget), how we make that work. It's magic.”
Said Commissioner Mike Hammond: “So, I guess we can start calling you Magic Chris.”
Chris: “No, cause you're Magic Mike.”
Heh. Magic Mike. Heh. Hahahaha.
You had to be there.