Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Thursday, March 31, 2005

What do Department Directors, Auto Mechanics, Grandmothers, and Lemonade have in common?

As a Department Director I have the responsibility of submitting my budget request to the County Budget office today. We put the finishing touches on it this morning. To be a good commissioner, you need to find the right questions to ask in this's pretty Socratic. As a Department director, you need to make inquiries like an auto mechanic. Does anything appear missing from the budget or car? Well, bolts, clamps, brackets or cables? Do the tires have enough tread? Any fluid leaks...etc... or will be have enough gas to get us to our destination? I'm I trying to drive a Jag, Honda, or I'm I dealing with a Lemon?

Department Directors, like auto mechanics, have to learn the language or their trade..... like in my case--line items, source codes, revenue and expenditure projections.....numbers like 0201 or 0301; or acronyms and phrases-- AMA; AMB; AMC; appropriating money; encumbering money; budget formulas; contracts; cuts, or decreases here or there; fixed increases in insurance or retirement based on formulas.

Like I said, auto mechanics have their own language too- PCV values; Valve Cover gaskets; CV boot joints; Caliper; Rotors; Serp Fan belts; how they impact the performance of the car, etc. While I'm drawing these comparisons, you need to realize I know nothing about cars....which shouldn't make you feel better that I'm a Department Director.

But at the end of the day, like Albert Einsten said, "You can't truly understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother!" And as a Department director, I've probably felt more like the grandmother than the auto mechanic over the past several weeks....haha. But things are getting better and grandmothers make great brownies and I believe we're making lemonade in the Deed's office. (If you don't get the lemonade reference, please refer to paragraph 1)

Image hosted by


Post a Comment

<< Home