Conservative News & Commentary

Mar 8, 2012 — by: P. Henry
Categories: Economics, Government

After six months of Public Safety Committee meetings and another month of Commissioner contemplation, the answer the Wizards of Smart gave us to a Public Safety funding shortfall was to raise your taxes. You see the money had to come from somewhere and of course the government couldn't look to itself to reorganize or drop funding to any other program. Nope, you were the solution to their problem Mr. & Mrs. taxpayer, so it was time to  cough up some more dough.

But wait. According to Wednesday's Herald and News the Governor is to soon pass a bill stating that Klamath County (and six others) can use their Road funds to fund patrols. This means the money allocated for patrols can pay for Jail Pod B and therefore the county doesn't need your money (for now).

Huh? You mean the county had the money all along, it was just locked up in a special road fund that even the commissioners couldn't use?

Yes. And herein lies the BIG problem. Government is so bureaucratic that even though there is $100 million sitting in the county's bank account, it took special state legislation and the governor to approve use of that "special" money for public safety. So why didn't the commissioners and the public safety committee try this first? Why was raising taxes the only option available? Well it wasn't, it was just the easiest.

This was like losing your job but having $20,000 in your savings account but unless you get special permission from state government you can't use that money to pay your mortgage. But this is the essence of leftist governmental policies, where money get's designated for only union jobs (roads, education, etc...) and not for general use as the commissioners (who are the public's representatives) see fit.

So the next time you hear that our county government doesn't have enough money, let's remember it is government getting in the way of itself from utilizing nearly $100 million that is doing nothing but collecting dust designated as Road funds. We might as well put that money to use and repave every street in the county with dollar bills. That seems to make about as much sense as what it is doing for us now.

6 Comments

  1. Terry Clemens ~ Mar. 8, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    I disagree with you. First of all, 50 million of that money is dedicated ONLY to bridge replacement. Secondly, why should the Road Dept. reward mismanagement of funds by giving out Road Dept. dollars. If these other departments had been as frugal and managed their money wisely, they wouldn't have to be stealing funds from the Road Dept. #
  2. B. Franklin ~ Mar. 9, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    Hi Terry, Thanks for chiming in. You seem to have an interesting argument. If I understand you correctly you are saying that the road funds should remain road funds because the road department has done a stellar job of managing those funds. First I would differ with you on whose money it really is. I believe that is our money — the people's money. It doesn't belong to the Road Department. The Road Department isn't elected by anyone. So they should not get a say as to what is "theirs" or not. They work for us. Second, good stewardship of funding should be expected behavior, not praised as something unusual. In other words wise usage of all funds by ever government agency should be the expected norm. To me it seems you are implying that any department that is short on funds (public safety for example) is that way because they did not use their allotted funds wisely and therefore should be punished. Or are you saying that the tax payers should be punished for unwise behavior of those in public safety through higher taxes? My view is that government works best when those in charge budgeting are closest to the voters and held directly accountable through elections and not hidden inside of unionized bureaucracies. The $100 million Road Fund Reserve is there because of the Timber Payments which came to the county from D.C., designated for road use only (and some for capital educational projects). The larger issue is that had the Federal Government allowed the county businesses to continue timber production, Klamath County would have a lower employment rate. This would have led to higher county tax revenues from more workers and through taxation of the timber industry. Those increased revenues would be part of the general fund for the commissioners to allocate as they saw best and not be stuck in a fund for road projects only. You tell me who you think is easier to replace when we don't like how county money is allocated: local commissioners or congressmen in D.C.? -B. Franklin #
  3. Terry Clemens ~ Mar. 9, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Hey B. Thanks for your humble opinion. As I stated above, 50 million is dedicated for bridge replacement ONLY. How long do you think the other 50 million is going to last, when Fire Districts and School Districts get in line for a handout? When all the Road Dept. funds are gone, then what? I am still firm on not rewarding poor money management with more money. If I run over on my personel budget before the end of the month, would you care to give me enough money to carry me through the first of the month? Public officials have to learn to live within their departmental budget. Joe Citizen is already struggling to do just that. #
  4. B. Franklin ~ Mar. 10, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    Hi Terry, Okay, we are on the same page. I agree, we don't just want the road funds to be open for every agency who cries a river. We need to use the money wisely and most of the time the answer should be NO to it being spent. But in certain cases (such as public safety) I would argue that the commissioners should make a judgement call, or at least be allowed to. That's what they are there for. If they are foolishly using the money, we fire them. Accountability is the key. Over burdening rules, bureaucracy and authority that we can't control certainly is not. Thanks again! #
  5. Terry Clemens ~ Mar. 10, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Hey B. O.K. I can agree with you on that one point. I do think the other two commisioners should be replaced, because they had plenty of time to get their house in order. #
  6. B. Franklin ~ Mar. 10, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    Yup. I agree. Both Hukill and Switzer have shown that when times get tough (financially) that the tax payer needs to cough up more dough. That is the wrong kind of thinking, and we need better people in those seats who will make tough decisions to not raise taxes and reorganize government to start working for the people instead of for themselves. #

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