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Commissioners dealing with budget shortfall

Greg Tompkins, Walla Walla Co. Commissioner, District #3

WALLA WALLA, Washington — Greg Tompkins, who was re-appointed to the Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners in January, said a big concern of his right now is the county’s budget. With an $874,000 budget shortfall, Tompkins said he doesn’t know what the county is going to do, but everyone is working to help solve it.

“The last department head meeting we directed everybody — we want to know every employee, we want to know what their pay is, what their benefit package is,” Tompkins said. “What job they do and is it required by RCW [Revised Code of Washington].”

He said much of what the county does is mandated by the state and federal governments, which he said many people don’t understand.

For instance, Tompkins said when the state passes legislation that says you have to go from two restaurant inspections a year to three inspections per year, you need to either hire more staff or find funds for the extra time needed for the current staff to complete the additional inspections.

“Those are all those balancing acts,” Tompkins said. “The public is telling us we gotta do more with less.  And we gotta see what that’s going to look like because you still have to provide the services that are mandated.”

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