Plans For Planning

If you have been following the whole Loudon County Planning/Russ Newman mess, you already know that Newman has blown all of his budget. He has had to ask the funding governments to bail him out of his reckless spending and unfortunately the county has agreed to the bail out. However, at the last commission workshop commissioners seemed to be at about the end of the line and were asking for some alternatives to the current planning program.

At Monday's commission meeting, commissioners were presented with four different options to address the planning office which would combine the office of planning with the building inspector's office. The combined costs options range from  $512,900.00 the current budgets of both offices down to $206,261.00 with the offices totally combined.

Two options were presented by planning director Newman and building inspector director Bill Cox. Their first option would cost $432,908.00 and would see modest reductions in both departments. Their option 2 would see even more cuts in staff and would come in at $307,537.00. County Mayor Arp also presented two options the first of which appears to eliminate Mr. Newman, keep Mr. Cox as director and would only keep one building inspector and the zoning enforcement officer. This options cost is projected to be $272,122.00. Arp's second option appears to eliminate Newman, keep Mr. Cox as director and one building inspector and also contracts with the state planning office for planning services. This option comes in at $206,261.00.

Commissioners are expected to take up the issue at their next workshop. Personally, any option that gets rid of Russ Newman as the county planner is a winner for all of us.

Click Here To View Options.