Supervisors Fair or Unfair on Budget?

In fact, District 3 supervisor Craig Hitt says proposed cuts will cause some departments' losses to become other departments' gains.

Hitt said he has major concerns about recent budget talks.

"It's just not a fair process, in my opinion," Hitt said.

According to Hitt, when supervisors recently met with department heads to discuss their budgets, some had an easy time of it and some did not.

"There are some departments that, when they come in, they're under the gun, and there are others who seem to just don't even ask for things and they get it appropriated," said Hitt. "We had one department that asked for some money to be allocated for vehicles and basically the response was, 'We don't have money this year. We can't do that.' We had another department that asked for money for vehicles, just in case they needed to buy some this year, and money was put into that budget for vehicles."

Hitt even goes on to say that during the discussions one department head told supervisors point blank that he did not need as much money as they were offering.

To Hitt's claim of unfairness, board president Wayman Newell says he disagrees.

"All departments are being cut," said Newell. "Some have more money to cut than others do."

Newell said he does not think any department has been favored over another.

With the first round of budget talks now coming to an end, department heads will have at least one more time to meet with supervisors. At that time we are told that even more cuts could come.

If nothing changes, Hitt says some departments that stand to lose the most when it comes to the budget are the sheriff's department and emergency management.

"I'm certainly not saying we need to add anything anywhere it's not needed, but we just need to be fair," Hitt said.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 19, 2010 at 06:38 PM
    blinks like to know what LEMA dir. and where you saw this.. wouldnt need new trucks if what we have was kept up... the trucks just bought was cheaper and fully equipped .. the ones the depts. got a few yrs ago was more and the fire depts had to raise the money up to get the equipment and gear....
  • by Tax payer on Jul 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM
    Much ado about nothing. Didn't the county just put three new firetrucks into service? I have seen the LEMA director in at least three new vehicles over his career there. And that has been in the past, what, 5 or so years? How many vehicles does LEMA have? Mr. Supervisor, let's see some numbers. Momma's boy can cry over spilled milk any day. Let's see some numbers.
  • by LEMA volunteer on Jul 19, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    LEMA volunteers get nothing from the County. We DO buy our own uniforms and equipment. Much of the HAM radio gear at the LEMA office was donated by the radio operators. The gear that does belong to the County is antique, but it cannot be replaced because there is no funding from the County, and grants have dried up. It would appear that the previous annonymous poster does not know about which he or she speaks when they suggested we furnish our own equipment. We volunteer because we care what happens to the citizens of Lauderdale County and we have always had to furnish our own equipment. During the period when the regular radios and cell towers were out in past weather events, those HAM radios were the only reliable communication between here and Jackson at times.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 18, 2010 at 09:02 PM
    As vol fireman i have seen over the past few yrs more and more the vol. depts getting the first of the hits on cuts. to the point now there are trucks out there that are down and will not be replaced or fixed never mind basic care. and what will happen is we will need to respond and cant or someone is killed; then see what will happen when the lawyers get a hold of it never mind your house insurance hitting the roof. this isnt a threat this is a fact at the rate things are going that will come. this board has been playing games too long and it has to end.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 18, 2010 at 07:27 PM
    If you love Lauderdale County and its citizens, and volunteer because you care, then put your money where your mouth is. Furnish your own equipment and let tax dollars go elsewhere. After all, you get a little radio, red flashing light, badge, and get to feel important. And it is really appreciated. LEMA should be under the VFDs or sheriff's department anyway. Why duplicate services? Grants I figure. And WTOK, why not break out a list of property that each county department has, and its age. Let's see if what we have is doing the trick or do we need more. Get with The Meridian Star. They can show you what a freedom of information request is. Your readers deserve to know.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2010 at 08:39 PM
    Hitt, tax assessor? I didn't think it could get any worse!
  • by Anonymous Location: Southeast Lauderdale on Jul 17, 2010 at 07:54 PM
    This is just another example of how this county works! It is never about doing what is right for the people it is the good ole boy system alive and well. O yea the new fire trucks that the county got for Ray's district were about $60,000 cheaper (per truck) than the last 5 trucks that was purchased about 2 years ago for the north part of the county. But hay that is fair we get trucks with no equipment on them and others get more. Hey but we got to save money so they can go on trips.
  • by Volunteer becouse you care Location: Collinsville on Jul 16, 2010 at 10:05 PM
    LEMA volunteers spend many hours training, preparing, educating, responding, reporting and recovering in times of disaster. We have around 150 volunteers that are on call at all times. We are free labor and we do not ask for anything in return. We love Lauderdale County and its citizens! If you see equipment that you think we do not need I invite you to join us when we are watching the weather, securing a chemical spill, diving for bodies and searching for a lost child. We have HAM operators that are vital to our community when the communication towers are overloaded. Most of the equipment we have is because of a grant. We need LEMA and we need the money to function. I would also like to ask you if your supervisor is member of the volunteer fire service and is he willing to get out of his air-conditioned vehicle put on turnout gear and fight a fire or rescue a person from MVA. Mine is and I have seen him do it more than one time. Thank you Craig Hit for serving our community!
  • by COUNTY on Jul 16, 2010 at 12:36 PM
  • by veteran Location: lauderdale county on Jul 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    I love to sit and read what a bunch of barefoot rednecks have to say. Ever see anything in the movies that includes Mississippi? Wonder whay the people are protrayed that way? Read the below remarks from a bunch of uneducated barefoot readnecks and you will understand. On a serious note: If you dont have the money, cuts have to come from somewhere. Dont complain about backroom decisions and continue to re-elect the same people.
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