Saturday, February 5, 2011

Muskegon county board censors citizens.....again!

http://co.muskegon.mi.us/boardofcommissioners/minutes/waysmeans_11_02_03.pdf
PUBLIC COMMENT/AGENDA ITEM
Mr. Eric Rothof discussed motion #WM11/02-12. He requested a copy of the projected return report and requested Commissioners review the report as well.
Ms. Paula VandenBosch approached the Board and discussed specific items for consideration on the agenda.

The above is our county's official minutes for last week's commission meeting.

What was left out was my two comments made during the public commentary time allowed for citizens.

My comment about the free laptops for the commissioners was to simply ask that they not initiate any purchase process until they read the report that was the main impetus for their purchase.
All of the commissioners rejected the idea of reading the report before ordering a county employee to do a cost estimate.
Except for Alan Jager.
Don't they get Best Buy ads?

These comments were deemed by the county board as unworthy of inclusion in the official minutes:

"Administrator Hammersley and commissioners,
A little more than a week ago I attended your planning session where Mrs Hammersley and some commissioners, suggested the possibility of significant cuts to county income if projected revenue sharing from the state was to be reduced or eliminated.
And the likelyhood that our county might be forced to incur major expenses to repair or replace the county jail.
A possible financial Armageddon.
So it seems to me that every spending decision ought to be made with great care for the scarce dollars that may not be available tomorrow, if we spend them today.
And that leads me to today's agenda item, that recommends the county purchase 10 laptop computers for commissioners use.
I assume one commissioner isn't gonna get a free laptop.


But most importantly, there is a projected return on investment of 2.4 years.
In other words, if we spend it now, we'll make up the entire cost with savings in 2.4 years.
Now I don't know if spending taxpayer dollars on free laptops for you is a good idea or a bad idea.
But I do know that the county put together a study that promises a projected return on investment of exactly 2.4 years.
A very precise number.
So this study exists and ought to be available for all of you to review.
And I think that before you, our county leaders, approve the spending of so many thousands of dollars of taxpayer's money on yourselves, that before you move ahead, that you stop, take a breath and make sure the promised savings really exist.
Read the study before you vote.
Do the job we elected you to.
You are all politicians and as such, you are leaders.
And you lead by your actions.
You tell us times are tough.
You tell us decisions must be made with the best information available.
Do the job you promised us that you would do.
I ask you to postpone this vote today, this rushed vote to purchase laptop computers for your own use, until you have read and understood the study."

The result of my brilliant plea:

WM11/02 - 12
It was moved by Engle, supported by Longmire, to authorize the Finance & Management Services Director to solicit proposals for laptop computers for the Board of Commissioners.
Motion Carried.

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