It began the evening with the second workshop session of the process of developing a budget for the next fiscal year. After the workshop, the committee held its normal monthly meeting to approve budget recommendations for next week’s County Commission meeting.
The committee was only split on one matter, and that was whether to recommend a pay raise for Planning Director Chris Schuettler. The County Commission recently assigned him the additional responsibility of economic and community development.
Brad Johnson, chairman of the Financial Management Committee, addressed the Budget Committee to discuss the Financial Management group’s recommendation that Schuettler have his salary increased to reflect his additional duties. He told the Budget Committee that the recommendation had been for a $17,359.90 increase in annual pay.
A lengthy discussion on the matter followed. Those in favor argued that Schuettler had already brought in many times that amount in his initial successes with the Snap-on Tool plant expansion and the new restaurant and hotel announced for Watauga Lake. Those against argued it was too big a jump from other department heads.
A vote was taken and the recommendation was defeated by a vote of 5-2, with Willie Campbell abstaining. A motion was immediately made to offer Schuettler a raise of exactly half the earlier amount. That amounted to $8,679.95. Tha committee approved that motion, with only Ronnie Trivett voting against it and Campbell again abstaining.
The Budget Committee will present the recommendation at next Monday’s meeting of the Carter County Commission.
The workshop session introduced the budgets requested by the department heads of most of the departments in the courthouse. The committee members asked questions of the department heads, but did not discuss details about the proposed budgets.