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Commissioners' Obligation to Pay for Their Financial Commitments

Commissioners' Obligation to Pay for Their Financial Commitments

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Published by cjwinchester
Douglas County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh's memo regarding a resolution to trim his budget request.
Douglas County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh's memo regarding a resolution to trim his budget request.

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Published by: cjwinchester on Jun 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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To: Citizens of Douglas CountyFrom: Thomas F. Cavanaugh, Douglas County Clerk/ComptrollerRe:
Douglas County Commissioners’ Obligation to Pay
for Their Financial Commitments
Are Douglas County Commissioners obligated to pay for funding commitments and legalagreements they as a Board have approved?Yes.
It is understood that when two parties mutually agree upon and both approve the termsand conditions of an agreement, both parties are obligated to fulfill that agreement. Failure to fulfillthese legal obligations is at best deficient due diligence and clear mismanagement. At worst,unwilling or failing to fund contractual commitments results in a breach of contract resulting incostly litigation to resolve.Following negotiations on April 3, 2012, on a motion by Commissioners Boyle and Tusa theDouglas County Board unanimously approved a three year contract with EULA, a collectivebargaining unit, which requires the County Commissioners to pay for increasing wages (2% for2011, 2% for 2012, and 3% for 2013) for EULA covered employees, including covered CountyClerk/Comptroller staff.On June 5, 2012, the County Board approved adding funds to the Clerk/Comptrol
budget to pay for the
first year’s increased costs of the Commissioners approved wage contract
with EULA, thereby mandating increased funding in the
Clerk/Comptroller’s budget
by the Board of Commissioners.On January 29, 2013, the County Board again approved adding funds to the
Clerk/Comptroller’s budget to pay for the increase of the Commissioners’
wage agreements. Again,mandating by the County Board to add funding
in the Clerk/Comptroller’s office budget
. Thisunanimously approved County Bo
ard resolution stated in part “…
increase proposed were shown tobe necessary in order
to meet statutory obligations
of the County requiring budget adjustments as
 In addition to these collective bargaining contract wage increases negotiated and approvedby the County Board, Commissioners also increased wages for County Clerk/Comptroller staff not ina collective bargaining unit by 1% in 2012 and by 2% in 2013. The 2013 increase was adopted
unanimously December 4, 2012, on a motion by Commissioners Tusa and Boyle. Funding for these
mandated County Board wage increases were also added to the Clerk/Comptroller’s office budget
by Commissioners.Now, even though Commissioners know the true cost of all of their approved employeewage increases that have and continue to increase the true cost of County offices and departments,some County Board members are seriously considering not funding their legal contractualobligations to pay for their mandated wage increases.One month after
increasing the County Clerk/Comptroller’s current authorized budget inorder to fund the County Board’s mandated wage increases for the current budget year ending June
30, 2013, and without rescinding these mandated increases, Commissioners notified Countyo
fficials and department heads not to request additional funds over this year’s final budget amount
for budget year 2013-14, beginning July 1, 2013.
From budget year 2009 through 2013, the Clerk/Comptroller’s office
has realized an 18.35%budget reduction.
By comparison, the County Board of Commissioners’ spending budget increased 43.17%over the same period of time for the Commissioners’ growing administrative staff.
Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller's office
% Change from FY09 Actual - FY13 Budget
County Board's Administrative Office
% Change from FY09 Actual - FY13 Budget
On April 4, 2013,
the Clerk/Comptroller’s office submitted to the County Board this office’s
2013/14 true budget requirements in the amount of $1,656,321.76. That included the actual cost of 
the County Board’s mandated wage increase
s. Once again
the Clerk/Comptroller’s
office non-salaryrequirements remain unchanged for next budget year.
For budget year 2013/14, the Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller’s office
requires for itsstatutory duties
a budget that includes $39,315.20 to pay for the County Board’s mandatedClerk/Comptroller’s staff wage increases for the period of July 1, 2013
, through June 30, 2014, in
addition to the unchanged amount of $1,615,323.00 that was this office’s final 2012
/13 authorizedbudget amount.Given several County Commissioners have repeatedly called for
“truth in budgeting”
, the
Clerk/Comptroller’s office 2013/14 budget requirements meet this standard i
n reflecting the true
cost of the County Board’s approved mandated wage increases for County Clerk/Comptroller’s
office staff in order to fulfill its required duties in accordance with Nebraska state statute.
As the County Board’s approved salary increase resolutions have clearly stated,Commissioners need to fund these increases “in order to meet statutory obligations”, including
requirements to provide for the performance of state statutory duties.
Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller Non-Salary Budget
% Change fromFY12/13 Final
County Clerk/Comptroller Flat 2013/14 Budget
1,615,323.00$ 0.00%
County Board mandated 2013/14 EULA Increases
County Board mandated 2013/14 Pay Plan Increases
County Board mandated Increase Total
Total Required Budget
1,654,638.20$ 2.43%Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller2013/14 Budget Requirements

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