The Norm For Us

editorial-logo3It would appear that the County is another quandary and it is becoming the norm for us. Sometimes I wonder exactly what is going on in the minds of those that are charged with guiding our County. Granted, it should go without saying that an elected official should vote their conscious. And, if their conscious is a little confusing for the rest of us, well, so be it. In light of the recent vote of the Commission to pass the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget and not approve funding for that budget, I would say that something doesn’t jive. If you don’t like the bottom line, then just say no to the entire budget. The Commission is pretty much evenly split on the issue and I must admit that covering a $5.2 million dollar deficit is a lot of covering. It does not surprise me that it makes some feel a little queasy. What I find surprising is how united they seem to be on Chamber and EDOC funding. I am not against economic development and I believe that you must fund economic development. Jefferson County has an Industrial Development Board that has a skimpy fund balance, yet it never occurs to the Commission to pass some of those economic development dollars to the County’s IDB. The IDB is appointed by the Commission and is answerable to the public. The Chamber of Commerce and EDOC have made it clear, through refusal to open their records, that they are not accountable to the public, yet the Commission continues to funnel, not just economic development dollars generated by the hotel/motel tax, but property tax dollars as well to those bodies. I say that the Commission should take the funds generated by the hotel/motel tax, divvy it up between those three bodies (IDB, Chamber and EDOC) and that should be it. Do not further dip into tax payer pockets for groups that consider their actions above public scrutiny. Frankly, it is just reproachable that the Commission expects tax payers to go above and beyond for organizations that close their doors to the public. But then that’s just me. It is their right to vote any way that they choose and, apparently, they believe that the citizens of Jefferson County are comfortable with pumping more than $100,000 of property tax money in addition to the $200,000 of hotel/motel tax to these bodies. What can I say?

Source: K. Depew, News Director