Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Winston County Supervisors Express Concerns About Unfunded Mandates/Unmet Needs

Winston County Supervisors were in a feisty mood on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 when they met to handle a number of issues. Several Supervisors attended the recent Ms. Association of Supervisors Convention held in Biloxi and came away with concerns about state funding. Board President Luke Parkes indicated that he came away from the convention more concerned than ever about state cuts to funding while at the same time – mandating counties to provide services. Parkes said, “Unfunded mandates have placed a heavy burden on counties. There has been little change in state aid assistance for roads in a long time. We’re not asking for a lot, they keep promising but they won’t do it. The public needs to see what’s happening.” Parkes noted that funding had either been cut or not fully funded for schools, roads and libraries and that the state keeps handing these things to the county without funding.

Supervisor Marion Jordan also commented on funding situations as the cost keeps going up on mental and drug commitments and there is nowhere to place these individuals. “Without funding these folks are back on the street because we can’t find a bed or treatment for them. There is a lot more involved here than just roads.”

Supervisor Ralph Goss noted that in the last legislative general session, the Supervisor’s Association asked the legislature to increase state gas taxes by two cents with one cent staying in the county and the other pooled for use as needed across the state. Goss indicated that those two cents would have helped the counties tremendously.

Supervisors across the state have been dealing with budget cuts for state agencies and services and reduced funding assistance for services required to be provided at the county level.