Letter: Small board will not helpThe primaries are over, promises have been made and accomplishments have been stated. What have we learned? This week I will be touching on the County Board’s actions.
By: Chuck Struemke, Town of Troy, Hudson Star-Observer
The primaries are over, promises have been made and accomplishments have been stated. What have we learned?
Everyone says that they will do great, but have no new ideas. I have a few for discussion until the election.
This week I will be touching on the County Board’s actions. While on the St. Croix County Board, I introduced a resolution to freeze seniors’ real estate takes once they are on Social Security and reside in their home. As their taxes continue to be raised faster than their Social Security increased, we force them out of their homes.
A supervisor that is currently involved in one of the candidates’ campaigns spoke against it, saying that he was more for comprehensive tax reform, and the resolution failed. Maybe this was because the St. Croix County Board was too busy raising taxes, creating new taxes, refusing to make serious decisions about budget cuts and constantly increasing borrowing.
I introduced a motion to have the County Board create a priority list of all the programs funded by the county’s, and state’s citizens, from most important, to least and fully, or partially or not mandated at all. Bylaws required that the issue be referred to the appropriate county committee/board to make recommendations back to the County Board.
The by-laws were violated, and the issue was never brought back. This would’ve allowed the board to determine what programs to eliminate if necessary. The current budget process requires that the departments submit a budget reflecting a reduction from last year. This causes the continued funding of programs not needed and the reduction of valuable programs. For the last three years I was the only no vote to the budget and borrowing amounts.
The resolution to reduce the County Board on the ballot in November will not make it easier to get actions completed, only your calls and voting will.
The resolution will not save money, but will ultimately cost considerably more. There are mandated positions for supervisors on county boards and committees, and will ultimately lead to further reductions and the supervisors being employed as full time and highly paid.
The resolution will result in the citizens having less impact on their supervisors’ decisions. Currently it only costs citizens approximately $6 per year.
More to follow on county, state and federal programs.