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COQUILLE — Coos County Board of Commissioners will be meeting with county offices this week to establish a preliminary budget for next month’s budget hearings.

One contentious point in these preliminary discussions are supervisors and elected officials who are being paid less than those they supervise.

Coos County Commissioner Bob Main said, “The argument that you make less than the people you supervise, I understand that. Until I know where we’re at, I can’t say yes,”

According to Main there are around 50 county employees that make more than the commissioners.

Most county offices and departments are having to spend significantly more on contracted services than in previous years.

The county assessor was first to meet with commissioners Monday and presented a budget that increased $68,550 from last fiscal year’s budget. The Assessor’s office was adamant about getting some new computers. According to County Assessor Steve Jansen, some of its current computers are too old to load the mapping software the county uses.

It's important to note that many of the cost increases associated with the Assessors budget were out of the offices control. Union cost contracts and county cost allocation account for a majority the increases.

The county clerk proposed a budget that was 6.27 percent higher than the previous year, which is a $37,658 increase over last year. The county clerk’s office was happy to report that the way it’s been sending out ballots has never been more efficient than in 2017.

Information Technology‘s new budget request is $67,764 more than the previous year. One of the new costs at for the IT department, is surveillance equipment for the Beaver Hill Waste Disposal Site. According to IT officials, there have been a number of people breaking into the site and stealing recyclable metals.

“The budget has been status quo so far, we’re going to go through every department to see where we’re at,” Main said.

Main and Commissioner Melisa Cribbins think that the budget, once all departments have been totaled will come in over the county’s spending limit and things will have to be changed and individual budgets modified.

“Nobody should be asking for additional staff and we’re not seeing any dramatic pay raises and when we do we’re telling people that they’re likely not going to happen,” Cribbins said.

Preliminary budget negotiations continued today.

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