Council shouldn’t borrow when it has money on hand

Council has money, no need to borrow

To the editor:

The article titled “Hearing about county loan set,” in the Oct. 10 edition of the Reporter should cause dismay to Republicans. It shows that our elected officials cannot be trusted to abide by their own platform.

The matter at hand is the proposed $2 million bond issue to cover maintenance on public buildings.

The 2014 Indiana Republican Platform states, “State government should only request of its citizens the dollars it needs to provide necessary services.” While I consider building upkeep and improvements necessary, funding by new debt is not.

Does our county government have enough cash to cover this expense? I say yes, but our elected officials say no. Quoting from the front page, “County leaders say borrowing the money is needed to cover the cost of repairs.” Consider current cash levels.

County officials have wide spending discretion over seven budget lines. This is essentially ready cash.

From 2009 to 2014, those budget lines increased in value from about $4 million to almost $14 million.

2015 will show another increase to at least $17 million. How much cash do they need before they spend some of it?

The simple alternative to the bond is pay as you go. But Councilman Kent Fisk disagrees. In the article, he states the easiest and quickest way to pay for work is through short-term bonds. Short or long, it escapes me how that is faster and easier than simply paying cash.

He goes on to say, “To think we can be debt-free is kind of unrealistic.”

Huh? The Republican platform clearly states that balanced budgets are the M.O. for Republican governance.

The article says, “Officials say they believe most residents understand why the county is choosing to borrow money and support that decision.” Oh, really? Then ask for a referendum on the bond. Statutes allow local government to escape referendums when bonds are less than $2 million; that is why, every year, our all-Republican council proposes a new sub-$2 million bond.

With these Republicans, who needs Democrats? At the hearing on Wednesday, I voiced my opposition to the bond with others. Republican voters expect their elected officials to abide by their platform. The cash is ready. Spend it.

Randy Harrison

Vernon Township