County Defunds Financial Advisor Position

July 28, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The county is currently without a financial advisor.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, the county commission voted to defund the position held for several years by Steve Bates.

After adopting the consolidated budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year which included the $15,000 for Bates’ services, the commission approved a budget amendment offered by First District Commissioner Julie Young to remove the $15,000 line item from the budget. The vote was 8-6.

Commissioners voting to defund the position were Julie Young, Bobby Johnson, Janice Fish Stewart, Myron Rhody, Jenny Trapp, Dennis Slager, Matt Adcock, and Bruce Malone. Commissioners voting to fund it were Anita Puckett, Sabrina Farler, Scott Little, Jeff Barnes, Beth Pafford and Jerry Adcock.

According to the budget, Bates is paid $15,000 a year for his services primarily to help the county prepare annual budgets. In past projects, Bates has also earned a commission for his involvement in the sale of bonds on behalf of the county.

“In 2019-20 the fiscal agent was paid $15,000 in December 2019 but another check was issued in March for $1,500 in 2020 but I don’t know what for yet,” said Young.

Young said she had no “personal ill will” against Bates but felt the county could get the same services free of charge through the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS).

Bates has been working for the county in this role as a contracted service for several years. He was brought in during the administration of County Mayor Mike Foster and has stayed on under County Mayor Tim Stribling.