Laconia Daily Sun Aids Belknap County Budget Shell Game Deceptions - Granite Grok

Laconia Daily Sun Aids Belknap County Budget Shell Game Deceptions

Belknap County Bannerby Rep. Mike Sylvia

The shell game continues on County Drive. It’s understandable that this sleight of hand would lead to errors in the Laconia Daily Sun’s article covering the Belknap County budget.

Commissioner DeVoy, according to the Sun, said: “…it was poor budget management on the part of the delegation that helped create the current bleak fiscal situation for the county.”

While I’ll agree that ‘poor budget management’ is involved, the fact is the delegation appropriates funds, and the county administration is tasked with budget management. It would be helpful if the administration would keep their spending to monies that had actually been appropriated as opposed to finding ways to spend money which had not been appropriated. In particular, $10,000 was spent for a study which was not contemplated in the 2017 budget. Further, they could use better judgment in choosing which legal battles to take up.

The chart the Laconia Daily Sun produced depicting ‘expenses’ continues the deception perpetrated upon the citizens of the county. The chart shows expenses for 2016 approaching $27 million. The actual audited expenses for 2016, as reported in the 2017 MS-45 is $25,874,967, nearly $1,000,000 less than the amount pictured.

Once again, the Sun falls victim to the game played on County Drive which involves swapping between inflated budget numbers and actual audited spending.

To get a sense of how far off budget numbers can get, take a look back to 2011.  The amount budgeted for county operations was $32,158,768, the amount actually spent was $25,805,826. The administration would then go on to say they had ‘operational savings’ of $6,352,942.

Perhaps I’ll wander over to a local farm and see if some ‘operational savings’ will come out of the back end of a bull for the 2017 budget.

Rep. Mike Sylvia