As county leaders head into budget season, they’re looking to fill out a small panel of citizen advisors who are willing to sit in on the budget-writing process and share their questions and feedback.
Commissioners are seeking one or two volunteers from each commission district to make up the committee and sit in on meetings in the fall. In past years, the panel has had about four to six members.
“We usually get four to six applications, so we typically have put everyone that applied (on the committee),” said Budget Manager Becky Butler. “I wouldn’t want more than six, because it gets difficult to coordinate that many people.”
County Commissioner Edna Fund said many people approached her at the fair last week and had suggestions for how the county should be spending its money. She urged them to volunteer for the Citizen Budget Committee.
“Come sit in our shoes and check this out for us,” she said.
This will be the third year the county has assembled the committee, and leaders said it’s been an eye-opener for both citizens and elected officials.
“Most of (the citizens) walk out with a whole new perspective on how the county has to do business,” said commissioner Bobby Jackson. “And we’ve had some top-notch people come in here with great ideas.”
Fund said the county intends to both advertise to the general public and directly recruit people it believes might be willing to serve. Those interested in serving on the committee must turn in applications by Sept. 13. Butler said the county currently has budget meetings on the schedule for Oct. 10, 17 and 24.
Butler said previous participants have been grateful that the county has gone out of its way to solicit their involvement and ideas.
“They appreciate the commissioners letting them speak freely and ask questions and participate,” she said.