No Paper Trail
by Pat Hunter
At the Mar. 12th budget meeting, Arp discussed hiring an IT (internet technician) computer person. This proposed cost $50K (est.) but no dollar amount was given for other IT related expenses.
The county currently has a $25K contract for IT services with the county board of education. Recently someone said that regular monthly commission agendas and related info would now be posted AFTER commission meetings; why AFTER?
Arp also discussed hiring a records management person. He also asked budget committee members Bob Franke, Nancy Marcus, Chris Park, and Don Miller about buying new laptop computers for commissioners in the upcoming budget.
The idea was well received, especially by Bob Franke, retired high-ranking military man, Don Miller, retired Exxon exec and Nancy Marcus, retired educator. Chris Park likes to carry his laptop, why does he need a new laptop courtesy of taxpayers?
Laptops are supposedly needed because officials are griping about lugging heavy notebook of papers!
The irony of it all, Mayor Arp purportedly had a war dance with a commissioner over public records. Which commissioner was refused public records by a county department head when requesting copies of itemized attorney invoices?
Agendas and related financials are not available before the day of budget meetings. Arpís office does NOT appear to post financials to the county website. Budget information is prepared in Excel spreadsheets, which are easy to transfer and send electronically so why are taxpayers kept in the dark?
More spending likely means higher taxes. Already, Comm. David Meers, school employee, now proposes raising sales tax ($1M est.) for schools with a proposed tax referendum, which voters must approve.
With limited or no access of information and no accountability of your taxpayer monies, officials are home free to spend as they please!
IF commissioners have laptops and are privy to financial information but you are not, thereís no paper trail.