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Bannock County Commission Spending Out of Control

March 27th, 2008 by Halli

By Ed Cook

The two newest County Commissioners, Ghan and Whitworth, are being exposed as politicians first and public servants last. By voting themselves and their friends raises and increasing their budget by ten million dollars they are heaping huge burdens on our (the taxpayers’) backs during a recession. In so doing they have obviously placed their political and personal needs and wants above every citizen in Bannock County. How much longer will AMI remain in Pocatello? Do the Commissioners not know of the long perceived layoffs at AMI? Is there any fore-thought about our economic realities and the challenges we face as our elected leaders pile more burdens on citizens during a deepening recession?

Did we not just lose Ballard, which added to the losses of Astaris and numerous other companies? These politicians, who are so willing to spend, are not experienced businessmen and are unwilling to give the economic engine a chance to start pulling its own weight. Their focus is money and they believe that only more money will solve the problems. There are no boundaries to what politicians first are willing to heap on us and grind our hopes. As long as they and their friends prosper the community is fine.

Do they really need $60,000 a year instead of $55,000? Isn’t the average household income in this area still below $25,000? Many individuals are working 3 jobs in retail stores just to survive while sacrificing quality time with their own children. When our leaders know the situation, how do they justify telling us, “We cannot live on $55,000 a year and must have an 8% raise even if others struggle?

Was the recent state property tax relief a license for local leaders to neutralize a major victory for property owners? In spite of touted economic improvements, our community has never recovered from major blows where higher salaried employers have been removed as industry pulls out. New companies, which are mainly retail, cannot take up that slack. Surely these two commissioners know these things but are choosing to make a grab for money while they still can.

Richard Larsen (also here) has clearly identified what the Commissioners have done and that these things are legal. Legal, or not, their entire modus operandi has never been for the best interests of this community and never will be. The course they are taking us on is going to destroy every hope of future prosperity. Have they so quickly forgotten that this community just rejected a $20 million BOND for the Holt that was going to be on our taxes for 20 years? Our glorious Commissioners have just added $10 million to their budget, and guess who is paying for it?

Election time rolls around in a couple of years and we are expected to forget all the shenanigans these two have pulled with the hospital and, in the same vein, their unwise tax liberties will fade away. People forgetting by the time the election arrives is a calculated part of their plan. Steve Hadley has consistently voted against these Hospital shenanigans and unwarranted tax increases. Perhaps people will not forget that point during the next re-election cycle.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

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