David Lomax, Marion County's new presiding commissioner, participated in his first meeting as a member of the county commission Thursday morning at the courthouse in Palmyra.
"I kind of feel like a duck, calm on top while paddling like mad underneath," Lomax said during a break in his initial meeting.
Lomax said there is much to learn. "I don't even know what I don't know yet," he said. "It's going to be an interesting experience and I am looking forward to it."
Lomax begins his new duties at the start of budget season.
"We're starting budget meetings at 1 o'clock today and will be going all day tomorrow (Thursday)," he said. "We will have a couple of stragglers (budget meetings) the first part of next week and we will hopefully clean up those (budget meetings)."
Lomax is aware of the tight timeline that the commissioners have in working on the 2019 budget. "Valerie (Dornberger, county clerk) has to have everything done by the end of the month, so we need to have everything to her by next week," he said. "We will try to make her job as easy as we can."
In preparation for helping draft the county's next budget Lomax has been studying the current budget.
"Valerie gave me last year's budget to review a couple of weeks ago, and I've been reading through it to understand where the funds are and where they come from," he said. "The spending part is actually the easy part because it goes through us (the commission). We have money coming in from so many sources, whether it be a grant, or whether it be this tax fund or that tax fund. That will be the interesting part to understand, where it all comes in and where it all goes out."
Lomax said he is not overwhelmed by the budget process or his new duties. "It's going to be different, but I've done different stuff all my life. This will just be something new," he said.
Lomax, who has been sitting in on commission meetings to help familiarize himself with the new responsibilities, promised residents of Marion County that he will work hard in his new position.
"I'm glad to be here and I am glad the people trusted me with the office," he said. "I love to work and I'll do my best."