After weeks of debating the various austerity measures in County Mayor Tim Burchett's proposed 2011-12 budget, Knox County Commission will finally bring the matter to a vote next week. Commissioners will gather for a special meeting at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14, in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building.
If discussions at a Commission work session Monday are any sign, there will likely be several proposals to rearrange things in Burchett's plan. Some commissioners want to restore funding for the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, which Burchett proposes to slash by 92 percent. There is also some sentiment for giving raises to county employees, whose wages haven't risen for three years even as their health insurance premiums have. Money could be moved out of proposed roads projects, or other areas—including the county's $37 million (or so) reserve fund, which Burchett believes should be tapped only in case of emergency. There will undoubtedly be a lot of lobbying by interested parties over the weekend, so Tuesday's meeting may well be lively.