Do you remember the headline in our local newspapers and TV outlets in September and October of 2012? “It’s budget time.”
Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman, Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore and the County Council, all let the taxpayers know that since they didn’t want to raise taxes, numerous budget requests would need to be trimmed. Both mayors wanted to set a trash pick-up fee, one even wanted to cut the hours for firemen and policemen. The County Council was very vocal about the need for department heads to trim their budget requests.
Fast forward to 2013. Just over four months later most of the headlines are for additional spending.
The Goshen Board of Works and Safety approved spending $50,000 of non-budgeted expense to put a fence and path around Fidler Pond. The Redevelopment Commission voted to spend over $1 million to extend the bicycle path on Bashor Road to the Market Centre on U.S. 33. Goshen is going ahead with a $1 million plus bicycle path to the county fairgrounds. Even though these projects will be paid for with 80 percent federal money (taxpayers’ money), 20 percent will be paid with local tax money. This amount will be approximately $400,000.
Remember Goshen’s mayor wanted to raise our taxes to pay for trash pickup.
On January 2013 the County Council met to approve additional spending requests for various departments. The sheriff’s department wanted more than $300,000 to purchase automobiles. Other departments requested additional funds that amount to about $500,000. Why were not these requests presented at the budget hearings?
The citizens and taxpayers of Elkhart County cities and towns deserve better than this. I feel the local governments are treating us like mushrooms — keep us in the dark and feed us manure.
— Ed Bradford