Hogan set to approve the 2022 Murray County budget on Dec. 30; recovery from stroke said to be 'ahead of schedule'

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Dec. 22—Murray County Sole Commissioner Greg Hogan is scheduled to hold a second and final hearing on the proposed 2022 budget, then adopt the budget, on Thursday, Dec. 30.

The public meeting will be at 9 a.m. in the hearing room of the courthouse annex at 121 N. Fourth Ave. in Chatsworth. Hogan, who is recovering from a stroke, will appear "electronically," according to Murray County Manager/Financial Officer Tommy Parker.

The proposed budget calls for $22.036 million in spending, up $1.663 million from $20.372 million in the 2021 budget.

Parker said the proposed budget contains "about (a) 10% increase for public safety, about 5% for all others. Everyone is competing for the same employees by increasing pay. Inflation has increased the cost of everything."

Hogan held the first public hearing earlier this month.

Hogan continues to look for ways to cut spending. Parker said even if the proposed budget is adopted without cuts it shouldn't require a property tax increase.

Hogan held the county's property tax rate steady at 9.103 mills this year. Hogan had cut the rate from 9.194 mills in 2019 to 9.103 mills in 2020.

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 in assessed value. Murray County taxes on 40% of assessed value. The 2021 property tax rate is projected to bring in $8.73 million. The property tax brought in $8.25 million in 2020.

Hogan suffered a stroke on Dec. 9. Parker said he is alert and expected to make a full recovery.

"The commissioner continues to work hard during his rehabilitation at (Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation in Chattanooga)," Parker said. 'His progress is described as ahead of schedule. He will be reevaluated, and the expected length of remaining therapy will be updated next week."

Voters first elected Hogan as Murray County's sole commissioner in a nonpartisan special election in 2011 to fill the unexpired term of David Ridley, who resigned. Hogan, running as a Democrat, had lost to Ridley, a Republican, in the 2008 election.

Hogan served 16 months, but lost the 2012 Republican Party primary to Brittany Pittman, who was unopposed in the general election. Hogan came back four years later to defeat Pittman in the 2016 Republican Party primary. In 2020, he defeated former Murray County sheriff Howard Ensley in the GOP primary. He was unopposed in the general election in both 2016 and 2020.

A Murray County native and 1981 graduate of Murray County High School, Hogan served as mayor of Eton from 2004 to 2008 and worked in the railroad, forestry and trucking industries.

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