I received a wonderful gift in my email last night. A Draft Copy of the Detailed Budget. Don’t get too excited-This appears to be been last revised in November of 2014. Judging by how the “work packet” is arranged, it appears that this was the meeting where the commission told the Sheriff that he was losing 23% of his budget.
The person who was kind enough to send me this info believes in Transparency. Here’s a great mlive article on what that means: A Michigan township sets the standard for government transparency. If you’re a member of the County Commission, you could learn a lot from this article!
In case you’re keeping track of the Lack of Transparency in our Shiawassee County Government, here’s what they still owe you:
- The most recent copy of the Detailed Budget. I’m hoping that my actions compel them to post the latest copy of this on their website immediately. One paragraph from now things are going to get really compelling….
- The amended copy of the 2014 budget. How can you amend the budget without sharing it with the public? Does anyone know if that’s even legal?
- An explanation of why these cuts are truly necessary. The commissioners should be out in the community explaining why these cuts are necessary, right? Silence isn’t working very well for Bill Cosby, and it’s not going to work for the commission either.
Let’s hit some of the highlights of the detailed budget:
- They ADDED EMPLOYEES to several departments. That’s great news-unless somebody is robbing your house, because your safety is not as important as their pet projects.
- They Decreased the amount that they take out of their fund balance (savings) by $270,000...There goes 1/4 million dollars!!!
- The Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund is another money maker for the county. Last year it made $1,223,631. From this, the commission transferred $1,200,000 to help fund the county. This year they decreased the amount that they take from that fund by $748,470. There goes 3/4 million more! This Fund currently has $8.5 million dollars and has averaged $765,000 per year over the last 10 years.
- Knowing that without a road patrol, the court house would be much less busy; they slashed Attorney Fees, Court Fees, and Processes serving by a total of $309,000. There goes more than 1/4 million.
- They decided to create a “capital projects fund for infrastructure” in the amount of $504,926. There goes a 1/2 million more. Worse yet, check out page 28 to see what projects are More Important than the safety of your family. Here are few examples:
- A 1.3 million dollar air conditioner for the courthouse!
- A $119,000 generator for the courthouse!
- New Carpet, New Lighting, and $450,000 in roof and sheet metal repairs on the courthouse.
- Refurbished elevators, generators, and much, more!
- You’ll notice that some of these were listed as “low priority items” yet they seem to have been funded anyway.
- If you’ve been keeping track we’ve made it to a 1.8 Million Dollar “Deficit” just in those few items. In my mind this budget has clearly been manipulated to create a deficit!
Now is the time to act! Call your county commissioner! Demand transparency into the budgeting process! Tell them that Public Safety, not Air Conditioning, should be their priority. Tell everyone you know what is going on in Shiawassee County! Send this website to your friends. Hang flyers in public places. Volunteer to circulate the EFM Petition if the commission continues down this path of destruction!
Together we can make the County Commission fix this!