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ONSLOW COUNTY, NC— On May 24, 2017, the Onslow County Board of Commissioners held a Special Meeting to discuss the Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Proposed Budget with administration and several department heads.The Board made several recommendations to amend the proposed budget to include: adding eight deputies to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, adding eight EMT’s to Emergency Services, and an increase of 2.2% in funding to Volunteer Fire Departments. The Board recommended a pay increase of 2.7% for Onslow County Government employees comparable to surrounding agencies with like budgets and populations. The Commissioners earmarked a majority of the $500,000 mental health allocation toward the establishment of a Facility Based Crisis Center to meet the mental health needs in our community. The Board of Commissioners met their goal of not increasing property tax and reaching a balanced budget with revenues equaling expenditures. Commissioners offered comments on the budget process: "The big thing is we identified our priorities, we stayed within our priorities, we did not increase taxes, we met the needs and not the wants of our citizens, exactly what we set out to do. I think the public should be proud of what this Board did. We found ways around our budget and within our budget, along with the help of Mr. Cotton, to meet those needs and not spend money frivolously on wants.” – Commissioner Robin Knapp “I feel we have prioritized the concerns of the people. The people expressed their concerns to us and we followed through on things they were concerned about-in particular- the patrol deputies. Of course, all of this came about as a result of the staff and Mr. Cotton’s leadership. I’m proud we were able to achieve the five goals we outlined back in January.” – Commissioner Mark Price “In my 13 years of being a County Commissioner, this is the best-working Board I have ever worked for; the communication between the five of us has been the best I have seen and heard, and it just works very well together. I think that’s how we were able to accomplish the budget in the way that we did under the guidance of the manager and staff.”—Commissioner Paul Buchanan
Amendments to the FY 17/18 Proposed Budget will be integrated into the preparation of a final budget, which is expected to be adopted by June 30, 2017. In accordance with North Carolina General Statutes, the Board cannot make any decisions regarding a final budget until after a Formal Public Hearing is held. The Formal Public Hearing will be held June 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Chambers.At the end of today’s meeting, the Board of Commissioners took action to appoint Interim County Manager David B. Cotton as County Manager. The Board unanimously approved his appointment, with the swearing-in ceremony held shortly thereafter. Chairman Jack Bright and Vice-Chairman Royce Bennett spoke about Mr. Cotton’s new role as County Manager and his steadfast involvement in the budget process:
"We have a brand, new County Manager that we are pleased with, and all have agreed that he’s done a good job working us through a proposed budget, and a balanced budget as required by law.” – Chairman Jack Bright “I’m excited that we have accomplished our budget goals, and the first being no tax increase. We’ve produced a balanced budget with the help of our now County Manager…and the staff who helped with this budget. I appreciate my fellow Commissioners who all worked together.” –Vice-Chairman Royce BennettCitizens may read the proposed budget to better understand the conservative economic practices of Onslow County Government under the guidance of the Board of Commissioners. Paper copies of the budget are available for review at the Onslow County Government Center located at 234 Northwest Corridor Blvd., Jacksonville. A copy is also available for review at the Onslow County Public Library- Main Branch located at 58 Doris Ave. E, Jacksonville. If you prefer to view the proposed budget online, a copy is available for download on the Onslow County Government home page: www.onslowcountync.gov.Onslow County citizens may submit written comments to:Proposed FY 2017/2018 BudgetOnslow County Administration234 Northwest Corridor Blvd.Jacksonville, NC 28540
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Onslow County Manager David B. Cotton (pictured right) takes oath given by Clerk to the Board Julie S. Wand (pictured left)