DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - It's expected to be a tight budget year in DeSoto County, but they're trying something new. The county's looking for a way to give employees a raise, so they're asking workers where the county can save.
According to Michael Garriga, DeSoto County Administrator, "Every day an employee makes a decision on how this county spends taxpayers' money."
Now the county is turning to all 610 DeSoto County workers for ideas on how to save money.
"They may see opportunity where we can save significant costs in areas we haven't thought about," Garriga said.
This Friday, Garriga is sending a letter asking employees what they think.
"We're asking them to be more efficient with the expenditures, whether it's for road maintenance to vehicle usage to office supplies."
Money for the 2012 budget is expected to be tight, and Garriga said, "It's not a very optimistic outlook right now."
Even so, the board would like to give employees a raise. Garriga says salaries haven't gone up in three years, but he knows living expenses have.
"We'd like to provide a cost of living adjustment to employees," he said, "there's going to be a cost associated with that so we've got to find revenue to compensate for those increases."
That's where the plan for feedback comes in.
"We are hoping some of those ideas will turn into savings, which will turn into dollars."
The good news isn't just for employees, taxpayers should be happy. The county is not expecting to raise taxes this year.
Employee's ideas are due in July. It takes two to three months to crunch numbers with a first draft of the budget due in August. The final version will be approved in September.