Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 104
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for September 13, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

According to recent news reports, the Warrensburg R-VI School Board isn’t the only taxing body the voters have given a blank check to. The Johnson County Board of Services believes they snockered us into voting to give them more money than they plan to spend and that they’re exempt from the normal rules the County Commission has to follow. They claim that even though they only plan to spend $335,000 this year, they still get to receive the $437,000 (or more) their full levy amount is estimated to provide next year. They already have a reserve of almost $175,000 and even one of their own board members thinks they’re collecting too much money.

Essentially, the Board of Services runs the Sheltered Workshop and other services for the developmentally disabled. While their tax levy rate is one of the lower ones, it is higher than that for County Health, which supplies a wide range of health-related services across the county, and only slightly below the hospital and the old Fire District levy.

Any group that spends tax money, no matter how worthwhile their objectives, has a duty to manage the money properly. This is especially important for groups funded by property tax as opposed to sales tax, which one can partially opt out of by not buying taxed items. Some frugality in requesting and spending money is essential.

Our legislators, state and federal, have shown us that they’ll spend every cent they can get their hands on. I would hope that the Johnson County Board of Services doesn’t do the same. The County Commission, who appoints members to the Board of Services, can help insure proper public oversight of the Board by selecting citizens who recognize their dual duties to the developmentally disabled and to the taxpayers.

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