Well, for anyone following the County Government over the past couple years, that should really come as no surprise. Like ostriches with their head in the sand, our local County elected officials have apparently been hoping that if they ignored the problem that it would all go away. Well, guess what…it hasn’t, and now things have hit critical mass and all their best laid plans are starting to fall apart.
For the past 3 years we’ve been warning them that this day was coming. Unfortunately, our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Instead, the County Council has chosen to try and wheel ‘n deal with their departments, totally avoiding the big ticket issues, to absolutely no avail. They don’t seem to understand that nobody is going to willingly give up their jobs or benefits. In the private sector, when this sort of stalemate is met, one sees the arrival the “hatchet man” who has but one agenda…get the train back on the track. Unfortunately, in the political arena, too many markers have been made and sustaining the political machine of the public workforce is put ahead of the interests of the citizens.
We’ve urged them on an almost monthly basis to acknowledge and effectively deal with the revenue realities.
On an annual basis, we’ve tried to get the County Council to appoint a County Board of Tax Adjustment (TAB) to help deal with the issues that obviously nobody has the political will to address. We’ve initiated the Mun-Del Reorganization and given them the opportunity to totally reinvent and consolidate our local governments. We tried to intercept and divert the $8 million Morrison TIF reserve to rightfully retire it’s debt and subsequently saving millions in future debt costs as well as returning much need tax revenues to the various taxing units.
We asked that the $8 million excess welfare levy be returned to the taxing units as opposed to being commandeered and swifted off to the County’s Rainy Day Fund where these resources have now been virtually depleted in sustaining the status quo. We’ve given them alternatives to their costs on a multitude of capital expenditures that would have saved them hundreds of thousands, if not millions, over the course of the past several years and they’ve turned their noses up at it.
With the recent leveraging of the local income taxes to the tune of a $7 million bond for the Commissioner’s EDIT Plan, watch for these money’s to be ultimately diverted to try and kick the can further down the road. In theory, Indiana and it’s local governments aren’t allowed to operate on borrowed money, but by diverting EDIT Bond funds it might appear that is exactly what they are doing. Where will it all end? We might suggest that the end is much nearer than what many civil units are willing to acknowledge.
Now, the Delaware County Council has scheduled weekly meetings starting on March 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm to try and deal with the 2011 budget issues. Once again, watch for the DCDGG to add their 2-cents if given the opportunity. I guess we’ll see the mettle of the County Council over the course of the next few months. Good luck, folks.
Message brought to you by Citizens of Delaware County For Good Government.