Fiscal Court discusses 2023-24 budget, approves members to Reapportionment Committee

Published 1:02 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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The Clark County Fiscal Court considered its upcoming budget during a meeting last week.

The Court met last Monday to discuss said budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

As a preliminary meeting, matters were not officially decided on.

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One budgetary concern was salaries for different county positions.

Discussing the salary for Deputy Judge, Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates mentioned that he was concerned with ensuring proper wages.

“We talk about how much every department needs more money. We need higher wages. Yet when we come to the Judge-Executive’s office, we’re doing just the opposite. That’s the issue I have with it,” Yates said. “We have got to get competent people in these positions, and in today’s society, the only way you’re going to do that is you’ve got to pay them higher wages. We are one of the lowest budgeted amounts in the state for counties our size with our population.”

Magistrate Dan Konstantopoulos responded.

“Other counties don’t have an HR Director either. We’re paying $55,000 a year to do all the HR activities that would normally fall under a Deputy Judge,” Konstantopoulos said.

The budget for the Deputy Judge position is $35,600, with a proposed move to a salary of $40,000.

Salaries and incentives for other positions were also mentioned, with debate occurring back and forth.

In other cases, where the funds were coming from and how they would be dispersed was of concern to members of the Court.

“The biggest concern that I have, and something that I think we’ve got to fix, is we’re using $3.5 million of the ARPA funds to balance the whole budget,” Konstantopoulos said.

Regarding  ARPA, General, and other funds, costs related to various matters were discussed, including the GIS/Water Bill, computer supplies, contract services, building maintenance of the Clark County Fire Department, taxes, 911 expenses and more.

At an upcoming meeting, most likely taking place on Thursday, May 25, the Court will finalize certain budgetary items.

In other news, on Monday, the Court discussed plans for hiring a new Clark County Treasurer.

“We’re getting ready to hire a county treasurer,” Yates said. “What I’m wanting to ask the Court here is, ‘How do you want to proceed with that?’”

The Court determined that the final decision would be made in a closed session, thus allowing for time to interview and decide which candidate it finds ideal for the position.

Reapportionment Committee appointments

During Wednesday’s meeting, the Court discussed and approved an order appointing three individuals—Janna Smith, Gardner Wagers and Eric Vetter—to the Reapportionment Committee of Magisterial Districts.

Per Kentucky law, every few years the Court is required to redraw the boundary lines for the magisterial districts.

The appointments passed 6-1 with Magistrate Robert Blanton being the “No” vote.

Blanton said his objections was because alternative options were not made available.

“We have not had the opportunity to submit additional names. I know we had talked about that, and I had suggested a process,” he said. “I would move that we table this order until we have such time to submit other names. I have some names to submit as well.”

Magistrate Chris Davis responded.

“This originally had gotten on the agenda mistakenly. Or inadvertently last meeting, which was approximately two weeks ago. The motion was…decided that the proper time would be this meeting,” Davis said. “I think all three of these citizens are fine people and very qualified. They’ve all been great servants in the community.”

Blanton spoke on the matter afterward.

“Someone wanted to discuss them in open court,” he said. “That’s why I waited to discuss any names…I don’t think it’s issues [with nominees]. I think it’s the opportunity to submit other names.”