Wabasha County spends againWabasha County’s chickens are coming home to roost.
By: Deb Roschen, Zumbro Falls, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Wabasha County’s chickens are coming home to roost.
On Dec. 15, the Wabasha County Board engaged in a spending spree with your tax dollars. You and I are learning to live on less to meet our financial obligations and prepare for a lasting economic downturn. Unfortunately, our elected county officials haven’t mustered the common sense to figure out when income is less, spending must also be reduced.
As the state faces a $6.6 billion deficit, commissioners should be preparing for large decreases in government aid. What are they doing instead? Hiring a new assistant county attorney, moving the County Attorney position to full-time from part-time, purchasing communications, installing an elevator in the old courthouse, and even considering giving themselves a raise!
In case you forgot:
• Three commissioners voted to build the new courtrooms and county attorney wing with the new jail because the old courthouse did not have an elevator.
They argued we would be better off spending over $21 million to build a brand new building instead of fixing the old courthouse to make it ADA compliant. Well now it is likely taxpayers are going to pay for both.
• Our part-time county attorney has a side job with Plainview. He received approval from our commissioners to do this because he had the extra time.
However, now he claims the position he was elected to necessitates full-time status, and yet he apparently intends to continue his Plainview gig.
Perhaps the most important order of business was a 2.75 percent pay increase for the commissioners.
I suppose taxpayers are to feel good that our elected officials opted to keep their pay the same for next year. On the contrary, I would challenge virtuous leaders would have offered to take a pay cut like most of us in the private sector are doing.
If ever there was a time our county needed strong, common sense, responsible, and qualified Commissioners, it is now.
In 2010, taxpayers will have the opportunity to end this spend-and-tax behavior by electing candidates who listen to their constituents rather than using them to finance their endless spending sprees.