From: Mary Glasson
While I was cleaning my house in preparation to host a family reunion, I came across a section of The Republic I had saved from last year. It was the Opinion page, and it was dated Sept. 30, 2015, almost one year ago. The editorial on that page was titled “County needs to act while it can to avoid mess later.” As I read the editorial, it was like deja vu.
Based on what I am reading in The Republic this year, we are in that mess right now. The Bartholomew County Council is still talking about how to address the rising costs for health care claims, repair and maintenance of our roads, and the maintenance of county buildings — issues that were also at the forefront during the 2015 budget process.
Now, according to an editorial in the Sept. 11 Republic, the county will be paying two private contractors a total of $12,300 for “help desk” and “on call” support for up to 166 hours, which we can only hope may be enough hours to get us through a very important national and local election. This is because “Eight county IT specialists have resigned over the past 14 months, including three department directors … (over what) appears to be salaries that have not been competitive with private sector opportunities.”
According to the 2015 editorial, “A majority of County Council members — Jorge Morales, Evelyn Pence, Laura DeDomenic and Bill Lentz — remain steadfast in opposition of implementing a new tax to generate an infusion of revenue to ensure the financial health of county operations,” a position they continue to hold today.
I am in agreement with The Republic’s position that says, “As final budget deadlines approach for 2017, county government must pursue new revenue options so all of its departments are properly funded to provide critical services on behalf of its stakeholders.” If the council does not take the action needed, there may not be anyone to respond when we call 911, voting machines may not be working on Election Day and the courts may not be able to operate.
It’s time to vote for change in Bartholomew County government by voting for Brad Woodcock, District 1 county commissioner; Pam Clark, Lynne Fleming and Diane Hawes for county council at-large; and Paula Rothrock for county coroner.