Past citizen complacency was the primary factor that lead to the poor governance and fiscal outcome that has beset our county for the past two decades. County boards cast aside fiscal competence and spent above the income allotted by law. The result has been fiscal disarray all the years hence.
One county board, finding county government broke and highly indebted with almost certain illegal obligations and grasping at fiscal straws, started down a road of further incompetent action - the building of a for-profit jail based upon conjecture of lofty and highly questionable income projections and expenditures calculated below the norm. The erroneous numbers were provided and backed by Sheriff Mulch (The Jefferson County Justice Center Market Demand Analysis February 5, 2003) to support an unrealistic end not a reality. The glaring questionable numbers were also supported and promoted by county board members (Armstrong, Scott, Elliott, Marlow, Shurtz, Mooney, Malone, Williams, and Woods), the States Attorney (Duncan), and local Judges (Timberlake and Gamber).
A subsequent county board (Buck) followed the illusive pipe dream of chasing ICE prisoners even increasing and extending the jail bonds ($5,000,000 and 10 years) to support and subsidize the ICE program. This egregious action only burdened the Jefferson County taxpayers more.
Now comes Egotist Robert White with his renovation list for the courthouse that appears to be based on want (a bronze plaque inscribed with his name included) not necessity. This endeavor has been manipulated for end result not a reality result. His tactic of intimidation has apparently turned the overwhelming majority of county board members into a heads-in-the-sand group of followers.
The White proposal if successful will likely take voter approval for additional property taxes and the bonding capability of Jefferson County will be negatively impacted and as proposed still require the sleight-of-hand action of fund manipulation, i.e. using Public Safety Tax monies, to pay the bill. These actions are totally irresponsible fiscally and would leave the county in greater jeopardy of bankruptcy, higher property taxes, and chaos should an emergency arise. The PST fund manipulation would be a total betrayal of trust that the citizens voted on when the Public Safety Tax was approved. Substantial savings (millions) could be realized in 2020 by prepayment of the PST bonds.
Enough (incompetence from the County Board and the leadership) is enough. Please attend the Public meeting on August 12, 2013 from 3PM – 7PM at the Roland Lewis Community Center and be heard. The choice you face concerns your and your children’s dollars.