Measures to stop all non-emergency spending by Carroll County governmental offices and departments was taken
by the Carroll County Budget Committee during the April 3 meeting.
Committee members unanimously approved a motion mandating that all county offices and departments halt all
non-emergency expenditures for the remainder of the current fiscal year and that, even in cases of an emergency,
department heads must clear any expenditures through County Mayor Joseph Butler.
As the committee discussed, this measure is needed to conserve county funds in case of possible emergency
expenditures and revenue shortfalls that might arise from the evolving pandemic crisis.
This action took effect immediately and will not need approval by the full Legislative Body.
As Butler explained, a halt in expenditures typically happens near the end of each fiscal year – it’s just happening
earlier than usual this time.
Also in light of the uncertain situation, the committee voted that all department heads cut their expenditures by 10
percent under current budget levels in their budgetary projections for the upcoming 2020-21 fiscal year.
This recommendation was sent to the Resolutions Committee to be put in the form of a resolution and presented to
the Legislative Body during the April 13 meeting.
Butler pointed out that the 10 percent cut will not apply to expenditure levels that must be maintained as required
by state maintenance of effort laws – particularly regarding the budgets for the Sheriff’s Department and the Carroll
County School District.
Butler said that while the state may allow some county governments extra time in submitting their budgets this
time around, he is going to try to keep things moving on the regular schedule with department heads sending their
budget information in for review by April 24, presenting their proposed budgets to the Budget Committee on May 1,
and commissioners voting on the total county budget on June 8.
Committee members also agreed to recommend that county commissioners give no raises or bonuses to any
county employees in 2020-21, with the exception of salary increases that have already been approved by the state for
some elected officials.
“We’re going to let the federal stimulus be their raise or bonus this year,” said Butler.
The mayor did point out that Governor Bill Lee is making $100 million in one-time grants available to county and
city governments across the state, and that Carroll County has been approved for $717,289 from this funding pool –
money that will be made available to the county after July 1.
“I encourage you to start thinking about how we need to use this money,” said Butler, who added that it can only
be used for certain one-time expenses. “It will allow us to do a lot of things, but that can go pretty quick.”
Committee members also approved numerous amendments to the current fiscal year budget to be voted on by the