Oconee County has new budgets for a new government year that starts at the end of next week. But the final vote required a two-and-a-half hour meeting, two cost-cutting amendments, and a great deal of back-and-forth with county council’s most vocal spending critics. On some key issues, the five-member council remains in a three-two divide. Paul Cain was able to save more than $100 thousand dollars by motioning to cut out two job positions, but Glenn Hart lost his attempt to further amend by reverting to a $49 million general budget. What survived was a $58 million measure that several public comment session speakers claim is too much—even though county growth is anticipated to be enough to avoid any property tax increase. Other than three percent pay increases for the county workforce and additional sheriff’s officers, much in the new spending plan came under hard scrutiny as many as seven audience members who spoke during the final public budget hearing. Many of them pushed the council for a line-by-line examination of every projected expenditure and questions were raised as to who, other than County Administrator Amanda Brock, is truly an expert on what’s in the budget. Airport spending, including that which is projected for Clemson game day football, came under heavy attack. That prompted Councilman Julian Davis to state that the airport is of great service for many of the county’s industrial community, including the county’s largest taxpayer Duke Energy. Davis’s colleague Paul Cain succeeded in slicing out $58 thousand to pay for what would have been the county’s first public information officer, and he was able to save $53 thousand to pay for a code enforcement officer. That cut came not long after Matthew Durham read a letter from a “Jane Doe” that suggested that a code officer might be shot if he goes on private property.