Though all three commissioners were present for the discussions, the executive branch referred to the meetings as “informal discussions” and no meeting minutes were recorded.

A full quorum of the Camden County Commission held several preliminary budget discussions with elected officials last week, though it remains unclear if every department will have an individual public hearing.

At least six departments met with the Commission last Thursday, according to agenda sheets received prior to the meeting and one provided in physical copy during the meeting.

The initial agenda for Oct. 18, 2017, included budget discussions with the treasurer, collector, assessor, health, and sheriff’s offices. The revised agenda provided the day of also included the road and bridge department. As of Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, no agenda items have been scheduled for budget discussions involving the prosecuting attorney, clerk, commission, recorders of deeds, or emergency management.

Though all three commissioners were present for the discussions, the executive branch referred to the meetings as “informal discussions” and no meeting minutes were recorded.

A request for the preliminary budget proposals made by the departments on Thursday was subsequently denied by the Auditor’s Office, citing the requests as “unaudited work documents” that have not been prepared to be presented to the Commission yet.

According to Chapter 610.021 of Missouri’s Sunshine Law, there are 23 exceptions for the authorization of closed records. Section 17 states that “confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body and its auditor, including all auditor work product; however, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records pursuant to this chapter.”

There are relatively few changes from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018 budget requests from the treasurer, collector, assessor and health department. Treasurer Elaine Gilley is seeking an increase for office supplies and possibly bumping some of her employees to a 40-hour work week as opposed to the current 35-hour work week.

Collector Teresa Murray requested an additional $5,000 for overtime and office supplies and will also need some additional funding, between $12-15k, for the publication of property for sale that needs to be re-listed every couple of years if the properties are not sold.

Assessor Marty McGuire said there were relatively no changes from last year’s request, though he has moved around some funds for salary purposes and also canceled a cell phone contract to free up some funds.

Health Department Administrator Bee Dampier listed a $7,000 increase in the form of a grant for the WIC program that provides supplemental nutrition for kids in need.

The Lake Sun was not present for discussions with Road and Bridge Administrator Lee Schuman, P.E., but Schuman did provide a quick overview of his request prior to his meeting with the Commission.

Schuman said he would be requesting a total of $7,769,000 in expenditures and plans to overlay 16.8-miles of asphalt. In 2016-2017. The department received $6,930,000 in expenditures and Schuman said they were on pace to overlay 17.3-miles of asphalt this year.

Bollinger Creek, McCubbins Road and a three year plan for Business Park Road were included among close to 200 road and bridge projects Schuman will attempt to get funded next year.

The Commission is next scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Oct. 25, to discuss a road and bridge metal pipe bid, human resources software, TAC alternate appointment, and the county clerk’s National Voting Registration Act bid acceptance for election canvassing.