In an unusual circumstance, the five members of the committee — Ed Elkins, Mel Griffith, Jeff Morelock, Adam Lowe and Bill Ledford — will not be returning to the Commission, meaning there will be a complete new slate of commissioners to fill the roles when the new board members take their seats next month.
“I think I’ve been on the finance committee all eight years I’ve served on the Commission and it’s been a real pleasure and a real honor,” Elkins said.
He made a special mention of county finance director Lynn Burns who is retiring at the end of the month.
“She’s been a great mentor,” Elkins said. “I thought I knew a lot about accounting, but I found out pretty quick I didn’t know anything about government accounting, because it’s different.”
He said the committee’s mission was to make sure the county’s expenses were controlled and “make sure the expenses don’t exceed the revenues.”
“We’re not like Washington,” Elkins said. “We can’t print our own money.”
Morelock said he has also enjoyed and found it an honor to serve on the committee.
“I have enjoyed working with Lynn and now Renee [Samples, the incoming finance director], and the mayor. I think you all do a fantastic job with the numbers,” Morelock said.
He told County Mayor D. Gary Davis that when he attended CTAS meetings, “they are always bragging about what a good job the county mayor’s office does with our numbers.”
“I don’t always agree with you on where the numbers fall,” Morelock told Davis. “But, I think you all do a fantastic job presenting the numbers to the Commission, the finance committee and to the public.”
Lowe said being a part of the finance committee is “invaluable.”
“I hope the new commissioners coming on, even of they’re not on this committee, will embrace the work of this committee because it’s very eye-opening,” Lowe said.
He said it “unpackages” what the county staff deals with on a daily basis.
“On the Commission there’s a whole lot to worry about and there is only so much mental and emotional equity to spend,” Lowe said. “Because so much of it is handled, we can come in, oversee, ask a bunch of questions and then move on. It’s always comforting to know things are handled and it leaves a lot more mental and social equity to expend on other things that aren’t handled however arbitrary they may be.”
He added the Commission has worked in “a very professional manner.”
“We split ways on a bunch of stuff, but at the end of the day we pat each other on the back, encouraged one another and prayed for each other,” Lowe said. “I hope that continues on the County Commission and grows between the two governing bodies in the county. I hope it’s contagious what we’ve experienced in the last four years on the Commission.”
Griffith, who has made a reputation as a commissioner with few words, simply added “I second it.”
Davis said the purpose of the committee is not about agreeing, but “doing what’s right.”
“I hope after these four years you’ll agree we attempt to do it right,” he said. “I think the Commission has relied on you.”