FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2019 5:00 PM
JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM
Also Present: Keith Larkin, Josh Barringer, Jennifer Lindsey, Mary Beth Varner, Jeff Whitbeck, Sarah Patrick, Dana Dailey, Lisa Jacquot, Frank Byrd, Ed Ford, Sharon Harris-Johnson, Mitch Burdick, Kenton Schafer, Michelle Tweedy
Discussion on Solutions to Cash Flow Shortfalls
Hunter began by giving a summary of the meeting with department heads and office holders. The discussed options due to the need for tax anticipation warrants in May since the health insurance was $1.9 million over budget. She reported that they discussed, a possible hiring freeze, limiting non-contractually obligated or recurring spending, possibly offering an incentive for people to take early retirement, eliminating spouse health insurance coverage, and the Sheriff is looking into a fee study for all county offices. Larkin explained the reasoning behind eliminating spouse coverage; the county has been subsidizing spouse coverage for at least six years by spreading the cost to the employee only plan. Since spouse coverage is not mandated by law it can be eliminated any time. He went on to say there are two options: 1. charge the true cost of the premium which would require that it be paid or there would be no coverage for the spouse or 2. stop offering coverage which would then be a qualifying event and spouses could get coverage on the open market. Larkin also mentioned that Schermer and Danzig have offered to help find spouse coverage for those who are no longer covered. The committee asked Tweedy to put together the totals for the last three years of spouse claims to show what the county would save. Peterson asked about looking into the Hope Trust that Snedeker mentioned last year. She also asked about the possibility of giving some money to employees to help fund coverage elsewhere. She then asked about eliminating the Public Building Commission, it was decided that this would be discussed at the Executive Committee meeting. Ford began by saying he hasn't seen a full overview of what is going on with the county but it seems to him that revenue is down and expenses are up. He went on to say that he doesn't see borrowing as a solution, the county needs to decrease expenses and/or increase revenue, look at covering less under the health insurance plan and consider more drastic cuts to programs in the future. Hunter concluded by reminding everyone that they are looking at doing a fee study to increase revenue.
Tax Anticipation Warrants update
Harris-Johnson began by reminding the committee that she has been contacting banks about tax anticipation warrants but that she hasn't gotten a big response due to it being a complex process, a short term loan and the low interest rate requirement. She has heard from three banks that are interested in helping the county. She went on to say that the board will have to do a resolution saying how much they want, the cost cannot exceed 85% of the full levy and they have to be paid back as soon as the property taxes come in. Ford said it is near impossible to cut expenditures by four million dollars so next year the county will start four million dollars behind. He thinks the committee should spend their time working on how to cut four million dollars from next years budget. Patrick cautioned the board about creating inequities between union and nonunion employees. Burdick reiterated what Patrick said and included that there could be unintended consequences. Hunter thanked everyone for a good discussion and encouraged keeping open communications between the board and departments. She concluded by stating that she will get a memo out to departments about a spending freeze.
Comparato moved and Erbes seconded to adjourn, motion carried.