Perusing this year's proposed $138 million Gloucester County budget led to several questions. In that spirit, here's a question and answer session with the answers courtesy of Gloucester County Finance Director Nickie Champion via email.
Included in this year's budget is $762,000 to be paid to employees in additional compensation following a consultant's study that compared Gloucester County pay to other localities.
The budget also includes a new assistant county administrator to oversee a newly formed Community Development department following a reorganization of the building inspection, environmental programs and zoning functions.
Daily Press: What is the $27,000 increase in the Board of Supervisors budget attributed to?
Champion: This refers to the lease payments on County Office Building #3 ($2,391 per month). We included 12 months of rent in the budget, but based on decisions recently made on Thomas Calhoun Walker Education Center, we may reduce this before budget adoption if we feel we will vacate the building earlier.
Daily Press: What is the $138,000 increase in the county administration budget attributed to? Is this the cost of the new assistant county administrator for zoning? How would the new assistant county administrator's salary compare to the salary of Ron Peaks (former county Codes Compliance director) when he left the county's employment?
Champion: This is indeed related to the reorganization. You will notice changes in County Administration, Codes Compliance (now Building Inspections), Environmental Programs, and Planning & Zoning. Various positions have been moved throughout these budgets. As you look at the proposed document, 2 positions have been included in County Administration. The Assistant County Administrator for Community Development (pay range is proposed at $77,826 to $116,739) and an Administrative Assistant II. The Director of Codes Compliance was on a pay range spanning $69,263 to $103,895. These ranges are FY 2013 pay ranges. Also, included in County Administration is an Administrative Assistant II (previously in Codes Compliance), which has been frozen for a number of years but will be funded in FY 2014. Ms. Garton expects the Administrative Assistant II position to be moved to another budget, but this will probably happen after the new Assistant County Administrator in on board and determines various needs for that area.
Daily Press: Planning & Zoning has an increase in its budget of $213,000. What is that attributed to?
Champion: This department picked up a Zoning Supervisors, a Codes Compliance Officer and a Permit Technician II. Mose of these folks worked with various zoning issues, which will be picked up in this department. All employees were previously budgeted in Codes Compliance. There is also an increase of $25,000 to cover the cost of consulting work associated with the Comprehensive Plan.
Daily Press: Is there a per-employee breakdown somewhere of the disbursement of the $762,000 in compensation to employees?
Daily Press: Is the Building Inspections decline in salaries of $371,000 related to the reorganization of the planning/zoning departments.
Champion: Yes. You will see a decrease in Building Inspections (old Codes Compliance), which are offset by increases in County Administration, Environmental Programs and Planning & Zoning. It is not a complete wash as we unfroze the Administrative Assistant II and there has been some salary changes due to staff turnover.
Daily Press: The library salaries are declining by $50,000. Are there positions being eliminated? Or are they being moved to part-time (increasing by $66,000/63 percent)?
Champion: In FY 2013, we had 10 full time and 4 part time employees in the Library. This mix has been changed to 8 full-time and 8 part-time in FY 2014. Also, the library is asking for an additional 800 hours (800 hours @$10 per hour plus FICA) of part time help at the Gloucester Point Library.Copyright © 2015, CT Now