Pulaski County’s fiscal planning process is taking a bit longer than expected. Back in October, fiscal planning consultant Jeffrey Peters said he planned to have the plan done by mid-December. But during last week’s county council meeting, county officials said they still hadn’t gotten any results.
Part of the reason for the delay appears to be that the process is requiring more work from Auditor Laura Wheeler than what was initially expected. “You also have to keep in mind that the information he’s getting is from me,” she told council members. “I have settlement to do. I have year-end to do. I did not get him the information that he needed on a timely basis for him to get here in early January or through November or December.”
Council President Jay Sullivan said he was surprised at the amount of information Peters was requesting from Wheeler. “We hired him to do a job, and she’s doing his job,” he said. “I said, ‘No, that needs to be done, but it ain’t going to come out of your office. You’ve got enough to do right now.’ I want to explain that, Laura, because you and I had that discussion. I want to make sure that you’re not getting any Dutch with anybody because we had that conversation. It’s way more than what I thought she was going to be responsible for doing. She didn’t complain to me about it. I saw it and said, ‘No, you don’t need to be doing that.'”
Council Member Ken Boswell said he’s been in regular contact with Peters. The fiscal plan is expected to recommend adjustments to the county’s tax structure, to make it more sustainable going forward.