The Monroe County Council went through the process last night of reviewing the budgets for independent county institutions such as the library and township governments. But, some council members say they are confused about their involvement since they have no authority over other governmental budgets.
According to Monroe County Councilwoman Marty Hawk, the legislature began requiring councils to review the budgets of smaller governmental organizations such as townships, libraries, and solid waste districts as a way to provide additional oversight.
However, Hawk says since the hearings are non-binding, the county council realistically doesn’t have any power over these institution’s budgets.
“No one wants the county council looking at their budgets,” she said. “They’ve looked at them and they’ve voted on them and so forth, so we really have no authority to do anything about their budgets, but the public begins to think we are truly able to do something.”
Councilman Sam Allison says he does not know why the state even requires county councils to review other budgets.
“We don’t have any authority,” he said, “and I don’t think the county council should have any authority. I’m not sure why the state of Indiana mandates this.”
The council is gearing up for its own budget hearings next month.
Allison says the county does not yet know how much tax revenue will be coming from the state , but hopes to have those numbers sometime in September.