Madison County Supervisors played ping-pong with different budget proposals Tuesday before ultimately adopting a $97 million budget in a 3-2 vote, with Board President Sheila Jones and District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin voting against.

Supervisors began Tuesday’s meeting with five different budget proposals, ranging from $94.9 million to $97.9 million.

However, before the discussion began, two countywide elected officials took to the podium to raise concerns over potential cuts to their respective budgets.

Tax Assessor Norman Cannady questioned the process in which supervisors went about making budget cuts to different elected officials’ budgets. He said he submitted details for his budget on June 26, presented his budget 41 days later on Aug. 6, but it wasn’t until Aug. 23 he learned his budget would be cut approximately $51,000.

Cannady said he and other elected officials met with Jones on Aug. 23 to discuss potential cuts.

“In the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 attachment, there are five proposed budgets for my office,” he said. “Two of these are significantly less than those submitted by me.

“I demand transparency and accountability,” he continued.

Cannady said if he does not receive all the money he requested then he would lose internet and phone service for six months, and some of his staff would not be able to participate in continuing education courses.

He said the cost of fleet trackers imposed by county supervisors last year is a cost he had no control over.

“These are prime examples as to why all details are needed,” he said.

Chancery Clerk Ronny Lott said some of the budget proposals were “backward-thinking,” and that isn’t in line with them being a “forward-thinking board.”

Lott said the $19,000 cut from his budget would affect his ability to upgrade computer equipment to connect with other countywide systems. He said it would also affect his ability to mail out required letters to property owners.

He said that would “open the county up for multiple — and I mean multiple — lawsuits.”

After hearing Cannady and Lott speak, Supervisor Griffin made a motion to pass budget option D, which totaled $96,733,048.04. He asked that Lott and Cannady receive their full request though, adding an extra $70,000.

“I want all the department heads and elected officials to know how I feel,” Griffin said. “Whatever budget we choose to take here…if there is a problem or you are running short of money…this supervisor gonna be willing to vote to amend the budget to give you what you need to run your department.”

His motion died for lack of a second.

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen questioned the historical formula used as the basis for the budget.

County Administrator Shelton Vance said they took three-year averages of money spent online item expenses, added a 10 percent cushion, and came up with the figure.

“To me you can’ t budget that way,” Steen said. “New things come up every year.”

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter said cuts were made because certain line items retained money year after year and it wasn’t spent. He previously said it was his goal to cut bloated budgets to put more money on roads and infrastructure.

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop said he stood behind elected officials and didn’t want to micro-manage their offices.

Steen then made a motion to adopt budget option C, to the tune of $97,033,843.50. The motion was seconded by Bishop.

Griffin then made a motion to adopt budget option A, which was the lowest at $94,950,889.26. This option included every department head request and elected official requests, but it meant a couple million dollars less for capital projects.

That motion again died for lack of a second.

Jones immediately made another substitute motion to adopt option D as-is, with no increase to Lott and Cannady’s budget.

“Many of the people I talked to were OK with their budget,” she said, noting one elected official was unwilling to budge at all. She said she was also willing to amend budgets in the future as needed.

Griffin seconded her motion, saying he didn’t want to be there all day on one budget. It ultimately died 3-2, with Baxter, Steen and Bishop voting against.

“Wait you changed your mind,” Jones said to Baxter after the vote, to which he nodded yes.

A vote was then called on Steen’s original motion to pass option C, which was $300,000 more expensive than option D. It passed 3-2, with Steen, Baxter and Bishop voting aye.

Option C added back all cuts made to elected officials’ budgets, funded 10 new positions throughout the county, and granted four raises for four employees.

Shelton Marberry in the engineering department will receive a $4,992 raise, Robert Sisk in the IT department will receive a $8,008 raise, Lesly Barthel in the Tax Assessor’s Office will receive a $5,012.80 raise, and Tara Mann in the Tax Assessor’s Office will receive a $2,059.20 raise.

The budget includes a total of $7.294 million for road projects.