Updated: Aug 18
MOUND CITY – The Linn County 2023 budget was passed by two commissioners on Monday, August 8. Commissioner Danny McCullough was absent for the budget hearing.
Linn County resident Mike White spoke during public comment pointing out to the commissioners that with the 5 percent pay increase they did bring the pay up but did not do anything for the new hires.
“I think our employees work hard and it is well-deserved and with cost of living that increase to me was a moderate increase, normally we only give 2 or 3 percent, this year we gave five. There’s a lot of companies and organizations that are giving more this year,” said Commissioner Rick James.
“We train them to move north, but we can keep them comfortable here they do good work,” said James.
The county budget was for about $23.9 million with a revenue-neutral mill levy of 42.581. The county fire budget, which is separate from the county budget was for nearly $626,700 or a revenue-neutral mill levy of 1.921.
James asked County Clerk David Lamb which cities and other governments went over revenue neutral. Lamb said that the cities of La Cygne and Linn Valley went over, as well as Prairie View and Jayhawk school districts, four of the six libraries including the Southeast Kansas Library System, the Lincoln Scott Hospital District, the extension service and the Garnett school district.
Lamb told the commissioners that he had people working on getting the revenue-neutral letters out. He told them that the Linn County News was letting the county use its folding machine, but it broke down.
Lamb said he would be turning in the costs of the paper, envelopes, toner, folding machine and postage to the state. He said that he was not allowed to turn in the costs of labor.
James asked why things like the letters and tax statements could not be emailed to taxpayers. Lamb said that he and Treasurer Janet Kleweno tried to save wherever they could, but many things were legislated by the state.
Lamb said that that publishing notices was a big expense. He said that was because the newspaper lobby was very strong in Topeka.
Commission Chair Jim Johnson said that when James becomes a state legislator he could change that.
When James announced his decision not to run for another term as commissioner, he also said he was looking at holding a state office. He did not file to run against incumbent Rep. Trevor Jacobs in the race for the 4th District House seat, and that has led to speculation that he would be appointed to fill Sen. Caryn Tyson’s Senate post if she is elected to be state treasurer.