Round 2

The second meeting of the Loudon County Commission held Monday saw a number of the same citizens in attendance to address the commissioners as were there at last Thursday's meeting. All who spoke were either in support of the school building program or opposed to it.

Monday's meeting was a workshop for the budget committee's recommendations for the 2011-2012 budget to be presented to the full commission and for commissioners to ask questions pertaining to the proposal. Several commissioners asked questions about various parts of the proposed budget.

The big meeting will be Thursday night. That's when commission will be voting on all the issues and there are some big ones. One of the biggest issues to be voted on will be the proposed twenty cent tax increase to fund the estimated forty-three million dollar building program. However, this is not the only controversial vote facing commissioners.

They will also be voting on a major change in employee insurance costs. Currently the county pays approximately 92% of employee health insurance with the employee picking up the reminder. Under the new proposal, new hires will pay 30% of their health insurance with the county paying 70%. Also in the new proposal after this year annual increases in existing employee health insurance costs will be passed on the the employee until such time the employee reaches the 30% share. Many county employees have spoken out against this change.

Commissioners will also be looking at a proposal for salary equalization for certain employees. The new policy would take into consideration the employees years of service. Approximately 54 employees would receive raises in excess of the proposed 1.6% bonuses for the rest of the employees.

A change in retirement requirements for sheriff department employees will also be on the table. Sheriff Tim Guider is asking commissioners to change the retirement age and years of service for his employees from the current age of 62 with 30 years of service with the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System to retirement age of 55 with 25 years of service with TCRS. The change is estimated to cost the county an additional sixty thousand dollars the first year. The budget committee rejected the request but the matter will still be on the agenda. 

There are a number of smaller issues commissioners will be voting on also. The meeting is set for Thursday June 30, 6:00pm, at the Annex. It should be high drama.