County budget like quicksand

To the Editor:

Have you ever been stuck in quicksand? I feel a very large portion of Americans are, both nationally and locally. In Washington our leaders will not even attempt to show bipartisanship and spend our tax money thinking of the welfare of an average citizen. The same scenario holds true for our local government.

A local taxpayer is holding our county commissioners accountable for their managing and spending our tax dollars. The county highway shop needs repair. What do most of us do when our property needs repair? We fix it.

Local government seems to just let it go. Our taxpayers will give us a new one. This was same scenario in 2000. Our local school boards for years chose to let the elementary school fall into a state of neglect. We must have a new school! A $23 million bond issue was strategically passed by voters. Classes will get larger, Spring Grove will come our way. Well, you know what happened.

Our beautiful and historic jail is outdated and must be replaced. We will house both men and women. Surrounding counties have jails that are over-populated. They will pay us to house their jailbirds in our state of the art  law enforcement center. Well, you know what happened to that plan.

One of our discerning, judicious and sagacious county commissioners at a recent board meeting made a comment about our deteriorating county highway shop. “I would rather put money in a new building that repair an old one.” Does anyone remember the dilapidated building on the corner of Hwy. 44 and Vista Drive? To jog your memory, it was referred to as the Meyer Building. I bet the past owner of that building was elated to receive his recompense. It was very costly to make it functional again. Also, employees have to walk a long distance to the parking lot. So please tell me, Mr. Commissioner, which plan of action would have been the best?

The budget for the county highway department is 40 percent larger than Fillmore County’s. Fillmore County has more miles of road plus greater population. Yes, Houston County taxpayers, we are sinking deeper every year. I dread to think about what our children and grandchildren will face in years to come.

Retired people living on Social Security are going to have to give up something or they will work until they day they die. We have to get a handle on this runaway spending. Please call your county commissioner and express your feelings. We elect these people to prudently spend our tax money.

Harley Doering
Caledonia, Minn.

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