Dawson County to hold departmental budget hearings next two weeks

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A process that often goes unnoticed by the public, but which plays a key role in how tax dollars get spent will play out over the next two weeks when Dawson County’s department heads appear before the Board of Commissioners to request funding for their departments.

The hearings begin Monday and will be held Monday through Thursday for the next two weeks in the Dawson County Administration Building starting at 9 a.m.

The process can be tedious and, at times contentious, as department heads defend their requests and commissioners attempt to ensure the county provides the services citizens pay for at a price they can afford. Every dollar is questioned and must be justified to survive the process.

The first to come under Board of Commissioners’ scrutiny Monday will be the Superior and Drug Court, followed at half-hour to 45-minute intervals by Tax Commissioner, Development Authority and Finance.

On Tuesday,  commissioners will hear budget requests from the Public Defender, Elections Superintendent, Extension Service, Probate Judge and Public Works/Transfer Station.

Magistrate Court, Family Connection, Good Shepherd Clinic and Sheriff’s Office will bring their spending plans to commissioners on Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office budget is expected to get very close scrutiny. Sheriff Jeff Johnson sued the county last year when commissioners approved a $900,000 increase in the previous year’s budget. But Johnson maintained it wasn’t enough so he went to court.

The sheriff lost the lawsuit and the good will of the commissioners in the process. Commissioners believe the sheriff wastes too much money by not utilizing the county’s Purchasing Department more and by not submitting purchases to a competitive bidding process.

Week one closes out with budget requests from the coroner, facilities department, IT, clerk of court/board of equalization, and county manager/county government.

 

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