DeSoto County circuit clerk saves money

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HERNANDO, Miss. -- DeSoto County supervisors say they’re in the middle of their toughest job in years. They’re trying to come up with a $112 million county budget in a county with absolutely no political will to raise taxes.

”We have gone through and cut line items probably more extensive than we’ve done since I’ve been here, 23 years,” said Supervisor Jesse Medlin.

And yet some departments, like the sheriff's, are asking for more. That’s why supervisors have extra sharp pencils.

But they’re getting help from unexpected places, like Circuit Court Clerk Dale Thompson.

”I cut some areas, in office supplies and maybe other court supplies to help them out some," she said.

She voluntarily cut thousands of dollars out of her budget, while supervisors are telling other department heads to come back with lower budgets.

Supervisors say they’re looking for cuts in some departments as small as a few hundred dollars, hoping those cuts will add up to something significant.

Thompson hopes her department will make up the difference with court fees and perhaps enable her to give even more back.

”Every year, usually, the Circuit Court and the County Register and the County Court budgets, we return money,” Thompson said.

That’s music to the ears of supervisors who say they’ve made a pledge to hold the line on taxes.

”We’re not gonna vote to raise millage. We’ve already decided that,” said Medlin.

And he says with more people like Thompson watching the county’s money, they might actually get to keep that promise.