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2010 budget passes vote
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 The Board of Commissioners passed the $55.4 million proposed general appropriations budget for 2010, which will fund the day to day operations of the county services, during the second read at the Dec. 22 meeting.

 The budget passed with a vote of 2-1, with Commissioner JaNice Van Ness opposing the proposed budget and Chairman Richard Oden and Commissioner Oz Nesbitt supporting it.

 "I still have concerns about the budget cuts that have been asked of the department heads," said Van Ness. "I think we can do a better job if we unified as an effort from this board. We just have not sent that message. I know the Chairman has asked for those cuts but we have not seen that come to fruition. Certainly my intent is not to put all of it on the backs of employees but more of a team effort on both sides."

Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said, "This has been a very intense year. We do have some outstanding employees." In previous discussions, he also expressed an interest in "weeding out the slackers."

The proposed budget will require a millage rate increase, previously estimated between .66 mil and 1 mil. An increase of about one mil on a $100,000 house would be about a $20 increase on the county portion of the property tax bill. On a $200,000 house it would be a $40 increase.