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Wakulla County leaders considering hiring freeze following multi-million dollar tax roll mistake

Wakulla County Audit Committee met to discuss solutions
Posted at 6:07 PM, Oct 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-27 18:07:08-04
  • After a multi-million dollar mistake, leaders in Wakulla County are working to fill budget gaps.
  • The Wakulla County audit committee met Friday morning.
  • Watch the video to see what solutions could be on the table.


"I know we will get through this."

Wakulla County leaders met for an emergency audit meeting Friday morning.

Greg James the Clerk of Court and Comptroller for Wakulla County led the audit meeting.

They discussed options to move forward after the tax error which resulted in the county having less money than they thought back in June when the $307 million dollar mistake was made.

Wednesday, I spoke with Wakulla County Property Appraiser, Ed Brimmer, who made the mistake.

He admitted the error, calling it, "a fat-finger mistake. Of course there's horrible backlash and it's deserved. this is a mistake that truly should've been caught."

To make up for the mistake, the audit committee recommended to propose a temporary hiring freeze for any positions that are funded by the general fund and begin monthly audit meetings starting in January to the board of County Commissioners at the next meeting.

If the a hiring freeze is enforced departments like public safety will be impacted. At the meeting Sheriff Jared Miller said, "if public safety goes down the hill, everything else is going down, none of this matters."

I spoke with Commissioner Ralph Thomas after the meeting to hear his thoughts.

"We were attempting to use this year to take the next step on public safety and to hire 18 firefighters and 18 law enforcement personnel so we can even bolster our public safety further than that and we're gonna kind of have to possibly slow that down a little bit."

I asked him how the possibility of a hiring freeze would impact the county and public safety jobs.

"Had we would've known about that before making the budget we would've made different decisions but it's important to know that we have enough money to run the government to operate the government to continue the public safety that we've had for years."

Commissioner Thomas says the county is taking the next steps to move forward.

"The important thing is we learned this morning that our county experienced about a 14% growth over the prior year so even when we take out this mistake that was made this $300 million we still got a 14% growth so that gives us revenue and capital to work with."

The Emergency commissioner meeting is Monday at 2pm.