“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Will Rogers
Double dipping Denny Garner, who is somehow managing to work what was previously two full time positions, is moving on up in Blount County government. He submitted county paperwork listing his name as the Department for a recent budget increase. See page 25 of the October Commission meeting packet for the request from the Department of “Denny Garner”.
The explanation part of the paperwork is blank. At the commission meeting, I tried to find out what the money will be used for. The chairman was not happy about it and asked the Finance Director a question when the Chairman is suppose to facilitate the meeting and step down from the Chair if he wants to ask questions.
The Finance Director, Randy Vineyard, did not give me any details for the use of the money, choosing to speak in generalities saying the funds were for “additional maintenance work”, “not any specific item” and for what “may arise”. All the Finance Director had to say was repairs are costing us more than we anticipated and we need more money to make it through the year. He didn’t thought.
The amount was $32,988, which is the exact amount that the paper reported the week before to paint the courthouse clock. The clock painting was already well underway before Facilities Manager Denny Garner, Vineyard and the Mayor Ed Mitchell felt the need to ask the commission for an increase in the maintenance budget that happens to be the same cost as the project. The commission is treated like a minor formality.
Remember the nearly $1 million capital needs money that was set aside when there was no plan and then the Finance Director and Mayor sprang onto the scene a month later with a plan to spend all of it and a whole lot more? The courthouse clock sounds like a capital need but that money was spent on Kronos almost as fast as it was set aside.
The Budget Committee consisting of Jerome Moon, Mike Lewis, Sharron Hannum and the Mayor rubber stamped the budget increase without asking a single question. I wonder if Chairman Moon would have been so quick to try to put me down if he realized that he pencil whipped paperwork that failed to list the correct department and gave no explanation for the use of funds.
Only commissioners Cole, Miller and Monroe voted no. Commissioner Carter abstained. Commissioners Akard and Allen were absent.