Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 26, 2013

County Board using sales pitch

Editor:

Approximately 28 people attended the second town hall meeting on Oct. 22 at Waltonville Grade School. They included M360 representatives Jim Engeman, Sheriff Roger Mulch, County Board members Randy Edwards and Jim Laird and Board Secretary Suzy Tate. As was true of the first town hall meeting at Dodds School, this one had the feel of a high pressure sales pitch for the $7.62 million courthouse remodel project designed by M360.

Chairman Edwards began the presentation by again summarizing the problems with leaky roof flashings and windows, mold, leaking pipes, inadequate ventilation and heat, etc. He added that the courthouse is not ADA compliant and “the government could shut us down. It only takes one complaint and we’re down.” Mr. Edwards offered no legal authority for these latter assertions.

This was followed by Mr. Engeman’s slide show presentation. He said the $7.62 million price tag is “a full scope budget for the whole project” to which Mr. Edwards added “we want to finance this with a 1/4 percent sales tax increase.”

When he was asked about other funding mechanisms, Mr. Edwards explained that laying off the deputies would be impossible because “the county isn’t mandated to have deputies, only a sheriff.”

Contrary to what Mr. Edwards reportedly told the County Board Public Safety Committee (see Register-News article of Oct. 24) the majority of tax payers at these two town hall meetings did not “favor a one-quarter cent sales tax.” The overwhelming majority of taxpayers at these meetings have stated they don’t want any tax increase. When faced with a choice between increasing the sales tax or the property tax, the few who were asked did pick a sales tax increase as the lesser of two evils.

Toward the end of the meeting Mr. Edwards said something that was quite revealing. In responding to a comment by one lifelong resident that the county is losing population because of high taxes Mr. Edwards said this: “That’s why it is hard for me to stand here and try to sell you a 1/4 percent sales tax increase.”

Mr. Edwards’ only admission that his job is “to sell you on a quarter percent sales tax increase” puts to rest the notion that our county leadership is open to citizen input. They aren’t, at least not yet.

Bob Shaw

Mt. Vernon

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Keeping up with the Comcast call-center fiasco I’ve been intending for a while to write about the Comcast call-center fiasco, but it’s hard to keep up: the story just gets weirder and weirder. Following the now-viral recording of the telephone call in which a customer service representative essen

    August 21, 2014

  • System needed for choosing House In the original conception of our Constitution, the House of Representatives was to be the branch of government that best reflected the will of the people. House members cannot serve without being elected — vacancies are not filled by appointees — an

    August 21, 2014

  • Dems plead for more money I’ve been getting a lot of email from Democratic fundraisers lately. They seem very worried about November’s elections.First came the highly publicized “Impeachment Red Alert” campaign, in which the Democratic congressional committee warned that Repu

    August 21, 2014

  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Ferguson On Monday, ABC’s Ann Compton asked President Barack Obama whether he would visit Ferguson, Missouri, amid the continued unrest. Obama didn’t give a firm answer, but he did suggest it’s probably not a good idea.“When they’re conducting an investigatio

    August 20, 2014

  • Food stamps' $80B secret spending program Imagine a government program that has exploded in size, is the subject of bitter partisan haggling and spends almost $80 billion a year in secret.No, not the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014

  • Vouchers provide greater choice I was chatting the other day with a fellow who, along with his wife, homeschool his children. We joked about the stereotype: Moms in denim skirts.But then he expounded on the benefits his youngsters have derived from being taught at home: a customize

    August 20, 2014

  • A rare experience Alexandra Petri’s editorial, “What exactly are we seeing in Ferguson” is well written and did something which has increasingly become a rare experience for me. Her article caused me to think!Petri makes the case for media coverage of American events,

    August 19, 2014

  • Naive? Simple? I will admit outright that I may be a little naïve and tend to look at things through a simple prism. I received a suggestion for a column with an accompanying article written by By Reed Abelson and Eric Lichtblau concerning the failure of our govern

    August 19, 2014

  • Don't pass 'coup clause' with a security waiver It is a sad reality that national security waivers often render human rights laws moot, inviting the government to overuse the loophole to accommodate immediate needs. The “coup clause,” which mandates foreign aid suspension to countries after a mili

    August 19, 2014

  • Clinton could end up like Gore Although we’re all still sort of pretending that it remains to be seen whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, she recently gave the most definitive confirmation she has to date of her impending candidacy. No, she didn’t say the words

    August 16, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks