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Encouraging incompetence and corruption in county government

By Scott Tibbs, February 20, 2013

Why is it that the Monroe County Council, instead of demanding competency and efficiency in county government, is prepared to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars by creating a new position? Do we really need to throw money at the problem?

I understand why some members of the county council support the creation of a new a Financial Analyst position to review the county budget and help the council in their duties. After all, county council is a part-time position with a fairly small stipend, and councilors do not have the time to fully review the budgets. After all, an error in the county Auditor's Office cost the local government over $990,000 last year, and a second error resulted in the lost of another 120,600. It makes sense why the council wants another set of eyes looking at the numbers.

The problem with creating the Financial Analyst position is that it just encourages and enables more corruption, incompetence and lack of accountability. We do not need a new position costing taxpayers another $40,000 to $50,000 every year from now on, plus the significant cost of benefits like health insurance and retirement, along with the added cost of unemployment and payroll taxes. We need to have the county auditor do his job - advertising the budget properly, calculating the levy properly and making sure that exempt properties are calculated correctly.

For the last eight years, we have not had a county auditor who was able to perform the duties of the office. The Democrats have made a complete and utter disaster of the office, from errors like the ones I mentioned above to the shameful credit card scandal that broke in December of 2011. That is likely to continue over the next four years with the election of a new Democratic county auditor who was hip-deep in the scandals of the last Democratic county auditor. Creating a new position and taking pressure off the Auditor's Office is most certainly not the way to fix the systemic problems in that office - meaning, the voters' foolish choices to elect three consecutive Democrats.

Frankly, the voters need to feel the consequences of their actions. If the Democrats continue to make a mess out of the office (and they will) the council should not bail out their auditor with a new position designed to do the job of the auditor. The County Council should make no effort to fix the problems created by the auditor, certainly not by costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The voters need to be taught a lesson about electing incompetent people, and the loss of revenue that forces a loss of services is one way to teach the voters that lesson. Voters should not be insulated from the results of their choices in the last three elections.