Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

STEWARDSHIP OF TAX DOLLARS

Some of the call in radio shows have surfaced comments about lack of fiscal responsibility among governmental units and employees. Since our state is facing a big deficit, citizens are being very critical of all government spending. This week I attended a meeting of the Three Rivers Resource, Conservation, and Development Council. The organization is made up of the nine counties in the Region 9 area.

The Three Rivers RC and D functions using federal dollars funneled to the local level through the Natural Resources Service. The dollars are governed by a board made up of county commissioners and soil and water conservation district supervisors. The RC and D uses the dollars for local projects of conservation and development in the nine county area.

I wish all citizens could hear about how the local staff (two of them) squeeze the most out of the funding dollars. I heard staff make comments like: "we just did not go that route, as it was too costly". They also explained how they were able to use a $10 off coupons from a local retailer when purchasing supplies. This is in stark contrast from the stories we hear about governmental offices and departments buying all new equipment or frills "because it is in the budget" and if "we don't spend the money, it will go back to the general fund".

The key is accountability and we get it best when dollars are spent on the local level. Many layers of government tend to make it easier for slipshod management and tend to be somewhat invisible and therefore, less accountable. The dollars spent locally are spent wisely. end

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