Jonesboro Budget $1/2 Million in the Red

The Town of Jonesboro’s fiscal year 2009-2010 budget shows spending of about $516 thousand more than budgeted, according to documents presented at last night’s board of alderman meeting.

We will have further reporting later this morning, along with documentation.

Additional Reporting

According to the budget document presented to the board by Mayor Leslie Thompson, the FY 09-10 budget was about $2.9 million. The final number will come in at about $3.41 million, an 18% overrun. According to the board members, this has all been done without approval of the board of aldermen. Even District C’s Aaron “Pete” Stringer, normally a supporter of the mayor, complained that the board has been kept in the dark.

Much of the overspending – over $200 thousand – appeared to be in the town’s police department.

All this is clearly against the law – here is the pertinent law regarding budget amendments.

LA RS 39:1310 Amending the budget

When the governing authority has received notification pursuant to R.S. 39:1311, or there has been a change in operations upon which the original adopted budget was developed, the governing authority shall adopt a budget amendment in an open meeting to reflect such change. When an independently elected parish official has received notification pursuant to R.S. 39:1311(A), or when there has been a change in operations upon which the original adopted budget was developed, the independently elected official shall adopt a budget amendment and publish such amendment in the official journal as described by R.S. 39:1307(B). In no event shall a budget amendment be adopted proposing expenditures which exceed the total of estimated funds available for the fiscal year.

In his remarks, Mayor Thompson said the budget process had been reviewed by “counsel.” He did not specify who or what counsel that was.

District A’s Randy Layfield told Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) that he had met with Second Judicial (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson Parishes) District Attorney Jonathan Stewart, but said the DA complained of understafffing and workload.

Action on the budget was tabled until a special call meeting to be held next week. Meanwhile the legal deadline for budget adoption of next year’s budget is tomorrow, June 30.

Mayor Pay Raise

On page three of the budget document, we see a $16 thousand increase in the executive salary line item from last year’s budget.

Additional Items

Several items were added to the agenda, discussion about renting the animal control facility, addition of a sewer line at the new Mitchell’s Pharmacy and land purchase by the Greater North Louisiana Community Development Corporation (GNLCDC).

Sale of about 3.7 acres to GNLCDC had been held up pending receipt of a second appraisal. The board felt the original appraisal was low and wanted a second opinion before finalizing the sale. The property in question abuts that now owned by GNLCDC in the town’s industrial park. Here are the two appraisals. The first appraisal from Tim Babcock of Ruston was about $13.1 thousand/acre while the second from A. J. Burns was for about $12.9 thousand/acre. The board voted to use the higher of the two and allow the land sale to proceed.

On the animal control facility, Layfield said the town of Hodge would like to rent or lease Jonesboro’s facility, as theirs was full. Also brought up was the possibility of cooperation with the Police Jury on animal control. Action was deferred until terms and conditions could be worked out.

There was some bad news concerning one of the city’s water wells – the line shaft between the above-ground pump motor and the impeller broke. The impeller will have to be “fished” from the well and will require about $7-9 thousand total to finish. Also the preliminary estimate is for another $30-$50 thousand to replace the existing pump with a submersible. This is a more up-to-date and economical application than the old motor/line shaft/impeller arrangement now used. Action on a new pump was deferred until estimates can be firmed up.

District D Alderman Terry Wiley was absent from the meeting.

9 Responses to “Jonesboro Budget $1/2 Million in the Red”

  1. Aaron Pete Stringer Says:

    Sir,you are not correct I ‘m not a supporter of the mayor or anyone on this board.I make my own choice

  2. mysterious Says:

    Still a “MYSTERY” to me HOW the story above can keep going and going and going………..going………going……… you see an end to it>????????

  3. karen Says:

    This is ridiculous. I don’t understand how no one is charged with malfeasance.

    I also don’t understand selling that land for so little when the man paid $25k an acre for the land he originally bought. He then improved it and now he buys more for half of what he initially paid. I guess calling people racist scared them into caving. Thanks for abusing my tax dollars!

    Thank you Renee for voting no. You seem to be the only one up there concerned. The rest of those jokers need to be voted out. I hope someone runs against all of them. We need people who will stand up for what is right and have a backbone.

  4. Woody Says:

    So nice to get the Jonesboro scoop. The city will be more in debt when I win my ten (10) year old suit against them. Any questions? You know my e-mail, ask away. Politics is a scandal, but screwing a business owner and tryin’ to cover it up will be a crime in the eyes of the media. Just wait….

  5. Jonesboro Board of Aldermen Tomorrow Night « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] of the budget ordinance is scheduled – the issue had been tabled at the 06/28/10 meeting. A special called meeting was supposed to be held last week to discuss budget issues, but […]

  6. heard it but still don't believe it Says:

    I for one will be at the meeting Tuesday night. I suggest that anyone wanting justice done for our fair town be there as well. It seems as though these “administrative officials” are getting away with their “I’m going to do it my way — like it or lump it” attitude!!! Maybe there will be a payday someday. I hope I live to see it. You people who can vote had better get out and get these “crazies” out of office before it’s too late for Jonesboro to recover!!!

  7. Jonesboro Mayor Folds on Budget Issue « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] See here earlier Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) news accounts on the issue. Jonesboro Budget $1/2 Million in the Red […]

  8. Controversial GNLCDC Land Sale Tabled « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] Jonesboro Budget $1/2 Million in the Red […]

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