Hamilton County's $679 million budget has no discretionary funds for commissioners

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 5/17/16. Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger speaks to Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent and Christy Jordan, assistant superintendent of finance as they present the school budget during the Hamilton County Commission meeting on May 17, 2016. on Tuesday May 17, 2016.

The Hamilton County Commission did not fight for discretionary funds for individual commissioners at all during the 2017 budget process.

Last year, six commissioners - Chester Bankston, Tim Boyd, Randy Fairbanks, Jim Fields, Warren Mackey and Sabrena Smedley - voted to take $900,000 out of the county's $91 million general fund balance to use as discretionary money after Mayor Jim Coppinger left it out of the 2016 budget proposal. The same six commissioners later overrode Coppinger's veto of the amended budget.

Today, the commission voted 8-0 to approve Coppinger's proposed $679.6 million budget for 2017. This budget makes for the second year in a row that Coppinger left out their special project money.