Chipley- Three Washington County positions will not be funded in the upcoming fiscal year. Officials told us coming to a budgetary decision had been a roller coaster for months.
"I was elected to office in 1997, and I would have to say this has been the most trying year,” Clerk of Courts, Linda H. Cook said. “Trying to find money- trying to do the things that we need to do. And, we of course have no roads that are travelable- basically all the dirt roads. It's just been a busy, busy year for our county.”
Commissioners had to make the toughest decision- voting for the proposed projection that would no longer fund the IT Department, Human Resources and the Administrative Secretary’s position.
"Without an HR Department? We have done it in the past” Cook said. “The Administrative Secretary has always been a key player in [managing HR matters] as far as insurance, workman’s compensation, property insurance- It's been a duel effort."
But, with the proposed cut of the Administrative Secretary’s job, Cook told us she wasn't sure how the county would handle the loss.
“We'll do what we have to do" she said, with an overwhelmed expression.
The cuts left over $200,000 in ‘Cash Carry Forward’, but Cook disagreed with the commissioners’ decision.
"I wish it could have been different. I think I would have rather had no ‘cash carry forward’ and three employees working than the position we're in.”
Cook told us the first public hearing would be at 5 pm on September 5. The second meeting, when county commissioners will vote, is at the same time on September 16.