Archive for Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Letters to the editor

October 31, 2001

Need for county administrator

To the editor:

The Leavenworth County Commission says there is a general fund deficit because 2001 revenues are less than they budgeted. Yes, a revenue shortfall is part of the problem. But the county commission failed to acknowledge that a $494,994 increase in 2001 expenditures is the other reason for a general fund budget deficit.

The county commission also failed to take responsibility for both the general fund revenue shortfall and expenditure increase.

On the revenue side, the county commission created a budget deficit when they failed to heed the revenue projections of elected officials and staff when they made the 2001 budget. For example, the county commission projected $563,859 for revenue from boarding of prisoners in the county jail. The sheriff projected much less revenue. Through September 2001, boarding of prisoners at the county jail has generated $31,889 in revenue 6 percent of the county commission's revenue estimate.

On the expenditure side, the county commission increased 2001 general fund expenditures by $650,874 to cover the county infirmary's continued deficit. Knowing of the increased subsidy to the county infirmary and seeing revenues well below projections throughout the year, the county commission should have realized there was a general fund budget crisis and taken action long before October.

The budget crisis is the latest illustration that the county commission is unable to manage an organization with 392 employees and a $31,643 budget. Leavenworth County needs a county administrator to support the elected county commission.

Until a professional public manager is on the job, county government will continue to be mismanaged, and property taxes will continue to increase to pay for the county commission's management mistakes.

David A. Greenamyre,

Leavenworth.

Views on Oz theme park

To the editor:

Let's see. Wyandotte County, one of the poorest in the state, who could have used the revenue from the Oz park, told them no. Johnson County, the most populated and richest county in the state, actually one of the richest counties in the country, saw through the Oz smokescreen and told them no. These people feed a pretty good line. It should tell you something when they say they can build an $800 million theme park, but can't seem to be able to pay back $500,000 that they owe Wyandotte County.

You've got to be short a couple of marbles to want them to come here. They would take the county for all its worth and you know who would wind up paying the bill, not Oz, not the commissioners, not Mr. Carlson. You guessed it, us. Mr. McKie seems to be the one with the common sense.

I think there is a good description of someone who would want the Oz company in Leavenworth County. It would be someone sitting in a rocking chair on the edge of the Grand Canyon with an 80 mph wind at their back, just rocking away without a care in the world.

What our commissioners need to do is find some way to save the farmers in this county and quit covering up the land with subdivisions and concrete.

Robert Dally,

Tonganoxie.

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