Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan thinks that right after his turn at playing Chairman concludes at year's end, history will show that he did great things and made the right decisions when he was in the chairman's seat. He is quick to point out for example that for the first time ever, the Johnson County Chair was granted the power to enact curfews. For the first time ever, the Chair was granted the power to do mandatory evacuations.
Wow, what a legacy huh?
The outgoing Chairman (thank goodness!) also provided *leadership* causing a 13.52% increase over the previous year with the fiscal 2009 budget of approximately $75 million. Sorry Sullivan, but dramatically jumping from around $64+ million to $75 million from one year to the next is not a good thing. And as if saddling taxpayers with a $10 million jump isn't enough, Chairman Sullivan led the charge with taxing Johnson County residents with an ADDITIONAL $20 million in the form of unspecified government land buys for unspecified uses. Not the stuff of a good legacy. Sullivan has acted like a pig at the taxpayer trough.
Sullivan is wrong in assuming that history will show his actions were justified and correct. Voters should be further frustrated by the fact that the Sullivan led Supervisors failed to budget properly and now face up to an $870,000 budget shortfall according to reports. Supervisors completely failed to anticipate declining interest *revenue* a.k.a. your tax dollars dwindling as a result of a declining economy. An $870,000 budget shortfall is a HUGE problem! We paid Sullivan NOT to make a boneheaded mistake like this. OINK!
"We know revenues are going to be really flat, which is why we are working hard to keep expenses down," Sullivan said in a Press-Citizen report.
Keep expenses down? Hell, why aren't we talking about deep cuts? Johnson County families are making deep cuts and making sacrifices, what cuts and sacrifices are county officials making? So far, we've heard little to none.
The Sullivan led supervisors failed to save for a rainy day. They didn't put any money in reserve, none, nada, zip. That's not leadership, that's callously spending every penny of taxpayer money. Result? Sullivan comes around asking for more money via higher taxes.
Sullivan's line of thought: We exceeded the budget? Who cares, raise taxes! After all, taxpayer money grows on trees right? Oh, and we need to increase the budget for some pet projects, we'll need to raise taxes for that too.
Sullivan obviously hasn't cared to lead and properly plan a budget or prudently put some money into a reserve. He thinks you are obligated to give him more money upon request. That's apparent with the evidence of ballooning budgets, a growing list of pet projects, a huge budget deficit glaring us in the eyes and no reserve to fall back on.
Note that no program cut considerations have even been mentioned by Sullivan or any of his cohorts. All we're getting is a generic, "We're trying to keep expenses down."
This is highly unacceptable leadership by Chairman Sullivan. His tenure was expensive, expensive in unwarranted, needless fashion. His legacy is one of dramatically higher taxes with little to show for it.
Let them eat cake!
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