Delaware County commission president Tommy Thompson said he keeps getting caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between his fellow commissioners.

Delaware County commission president Tommy Thompson said he keeps getting caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between his fellow commissioners.

The latest incident occurred at the commission's May 18 meeting when commissioner Todd Hanks presented a resolution that would move a meeting on the county's budget from July 6 to July 20.

He proposed the change, Hanks said, so the commission would have up-to-date revenue figures for the second quarter of the 2009 fiscal year.

"I am in strong opposition to moving the July 6 date," said commissioner Ken O'Brien. "I understand that as more time elapses we will get more accurate numbers, but with that logic the best numbers will come on Dec. 31, which will be too late" to make further cuts to end the year with a larger cash balance, he said.

"The longer we wait to make cuts, the harder it is for departments to be able to implement those cuts," O'Brien said. "I think we should stick with what we approved previously."

Citing Hanks' background as the former county auditor, Thompson said he sided with Hanks and was inclined to hold off on the budget meeting

"Mr. Hanks had his shot and you've had your shot," Thompson told O'Brien, "and guess where that leaves me? Right in the middle again, correct?"

Revenues are improving, Hanks said. While sales tax collections were down about 6.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, they are up 4.1 percent so far in the second quarter, which ends on June 30, he said.

"I don't think that's accurate," said O'Brien.

"Actually it is 100 percent accurate," Hanks responded. "All I'm saying is you will have better numbers to make a better decision by waiting until July 20."

"The longer you wait, the greater the impact on those who have to make cuts," O'Brien said. "July 6 is the time to make cuts or generate more revenue waiting just means more uncertainty for county employees."

Thompson welcomed the news that revenues are up, according to Hanks' information.

"Conveyance fees are going down," O'Brien said.

"They are going up," Hanks responded.

"I've been tracking them and I beg to differ our numbers are worsening every day," O'Brien said.

While conveyance fees are down when compared to this time last year, Hanks said May 21, they are up about $150,000 over what the county's budget commission projected during budget hearings last fall.

Thompson said he is looking at the revenue numbers and trying to avoid any layoffs. "I think with the economy I really believe we are making the turn upward," he said.

"What do you base this turn on?" O'Brien asked.

Thompson said he has been briefed on several potential commercial/industrial projects that may be coming to the county, as well as the new Kroger store that is under construction in Orange Township.

The vote was 2-1 to move the budget meeting to July 20, with O'Brien casting the dissenting vote.