Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

September 16, 2012

Public Eye: Sept. 16, 2012

It’s fun to stay at the...

Howard County officials are cool, at least for the time being, on county funding to bring a new parking garage downtown, as well as to fund site work for a new Kokomo Family YMCA.

While the county council expressed a desire not to spend taxpayer dollars on the projects, they did dip into their own pockets, pledging $500 apiece to the new Y.

This was immediately prior to the council voting for possible $400 and $800 bonuses for all county employees, including, we understand, themselves.

Each council member will have to decide before next July if they will or will not accept the bonus.

That made us wonder if the council couldn’t have resolved the issue of not spending any taxpayer money on the downtown projects simply by voting themselves even larger bonuses, and then donating the proceeds.

 

Questionable recommendation

With the Tipton County Council in the process of reviewing the 2013 budget requests this past week there appeared to be a case of feathering one’s own nest.

Auditor Greg Townsend added to his budget the sum of $5,000 for in-house training of his staff. Townsend took over as auditor in June following the resignation of Mandy Inman.

When asked about the funds for training, Townsend said it was recommended by Jacque Clements.

Clements and the company she works for, Maximus, is being paid $30,000 by Tipton County to help get the county’s fiscal books in order.

Two weeks ago she indicated that more time would be needed to complete the task, which means an additional expense to the county.

Townsend went on to add that Maximus provides the type of training that Clements recommended.

 

Operating in the red

During the Howard County Council’s budget review for 2013, council members learned that the Health Department has been spending more money than it takes in for 2012.

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