Letter: Wabasha County in good handsI attended the Wabasha County budget meeting Sept. 11 in Millville. The atmosphere was welcoming.
By: Dave Martino, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
I attended the Wabasha County budget meeting Sept. 11 in Millville. The atmosphere was welcoming.
My main reason was to see and hear the information commissioners will be using to set the 2013 budget. I also wanted to experience the climate, given all the attention to Wabasha County politics the media has provided. It seems that after several tough economic decisions were made in county government, a deep level of distrust developed in the community.
Commissioner Deb Roschen was the main presenter. She openly sought the input and opinions. She prompted the other commissioners and staff to provide supporting information. This demonstrated to me that the budget being presented was the result of a collaborative effort.
Sitting there it was hard for me to comprehend Roschen was faced with a possible recall. She is not in my district, but clearly she is an asset to Wabasha County.
The main features of the budget are not significantly complex, but like most things, the devil is in the details. Besides funding the "business" of the county, i.e. the 150-plus staff, there are quite large debts and services that need to be managed carefully. I was particularly impressed with Finance Director Deb Koenig.
The board demonstrated that a serious effort is being made to steer our county away from running in the red. This was a relief, as I was starting to feel a sense of desperation over how my tax dollars are being managed.
Few of us would welcome a tax increase at this point in time. These days I get sticker shock every time I go to the grocery and the gas pump. This affects what I buy and how much. If I continue to spend money that I do not have, it will ruin me financially. This is the logic that we hope commissioners will use when making decisions on how to spend our tax dollars.
I am hopeful, as I saw leadership and cooperation. I feel that this board is determined to rein in spending and do it in the most fair and least painful manner.
Zumbro Falls, Minn.