Committee Recommends Bailout

The Loudon County commission budget committee is recommending the financial bailout requested by planning director Russ Newman. As reported yesterday, Mr. Newman has blown nearly all of his operating budget and reserves and now needs an additional $20,000.00 just to finish the fiscal year. Newman was asking for an additional $14,200.00 form the county, an additional $3,400.00 from Lenoir City and an additional $2,400.00 from the City Of Loudon.

On the other end of the county, Newman didn't do as well. Not only was Newman asking for additional money from Lenoir City, he was also asking for the city to pay the second half of their payment now rather than waiting till the end of June. Lenoir City had historically paid their share of the planning department fee at the end of June. The city agreed to pay half of their $21,200.00 back in February. Newman is now demanding that the city pay the balance now.

Lenoir City officials voted Monday night to pay January, February and March payment and to pay the rest in monthly installments. The city did not vote to pay the additional $3,400.00 Newman had requested.

It's hard to imagine how the Loudon County commission budget committee could in good faith recommend shoveling out an additional $14,200.00 to Mr. Newman when he has already clearly shown he is incapable of managing the money he had. Oh well, it's only tax payer money. The full commission will take up the question at their next commission meeting. At least Lenoir City Council didn't take the bait.