‘Strategic’ sessions move to constitutional offices
Another week of the strategic planning session that the Lee County Board of Commissioners began in late October, moved on Tuesday morning with department representatives from the Lee County Elections Office and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office presenting information.
Commissioner Ray Judah said the board has heard at least a dozen presentations from the departments of Lee County. He explained that the board hears about two or three presentations a week, which usually take place after the board meeting on Tuesday.
Judah said the strategic planning provides the board of commissioners with the opportunity to have an open dialect with department directors, so the board understands the restraints they are under.
He said since Lee County is operating under a different economic environment the strategic planning provides a really good one-on one-discussion.
“It allows us to work very closely together,” Judah said.
The first strategic planning presentation was provided Tuesday by Supervisor of Elections for Lee County Sharon Harrington. She provided an overview of how she makes the elections department work within a tight budget. Harrington said over the past five fiscal years, they have returned a total of $4.3 million of unused budget funds back to Lee County.
Harrington also said they are maintaining the staff they currently have, which is 30 full-time employees.
The only piece of information that Harrington shared with the Board of Commissioners that might cost the county money before 2012 is new equipment for voting, which will cost $1.2 million. Harrington said she is in the process, with 40 other counties, to receive an extension for the new technology which will, in turn, save money.
“Thank you for your efforts to be more frugal than ever,” Commissioner Frank Mann said.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office also provided a presentation to the Board of Commissioners during Tuesday’s strategic planning session.
The LCSO currently has 1,585 employees, with 25 vacancies that are slowly being filled as needed.
The presentation addressed the LCSO opening its own clinic, which they hope to open in April of next year. With the opening the clinic, the LCSO will have some control of its health care costs, officials said.
Judah said the Lee County citizen surveys that have been mailed out this week is another step to the strategic planning that the Lee County Commissioners began in October.
He explained that the survey is another way for the county to receive feedback from the citizens on what they say the core services should be, along with what their expectations are from the different government bodies of the county.
Officials have asked those receiving the surveys — some 1,200 households — to fill out and return the five-page questionnaires.