LTE – Charlotte Croes – 10-30-2013

Ag Center On Agenda

The next County Board meeting is Tuesday, November 5 at 9 AM in Hudson.  Attending these meetings is an eye-opener, for sure.  There isn’t much discussion during the regular monthly meetings as most of the business is conducted in committee meetings and it seems that the supervisors aren’t allowed to ask questions about topics that would have been discussed at committee meetings.

 

 So unless they attend every other committee meeting, they probably don’t know what they’re voting on unless they had time to read their entire packet that they sometimes just receive the day before the county board meeting.   The public isn’t aware of what actually is happening because the supervisors really don’t have  time to discuss up-coming votes with their constituents.

Several citizens attended the “meeting of the whole” Oct. 23, at which time the supervisors were allowed to speak.  They were given their “budget packet” prior to the meeting. If you look on-line at the budget, it is very lengthy.  Thank goodness, one supervisor voted to table voting on it until Nov. 5 so that they would have time to look it over before then!  We citizens attending thought the budget would be presented for the supervisors to discuss, but instead, a few “power-points” were shown by the administrator focusing on projects that he wanted included in the budget, and not getting to the meat of the budget at all.  Programs such as “LEAN”, “Pay 4 Performance,” and IT (computer tech with consultants) were presented, each with some sizeable price tags.  The first two programs seemed to be “watchdog” programs, where the administrator and his assistants judge who gets extra merit pay.  (A cute question was asked:  “who watches the administrator and his assistants?”)  To me, it seems a lot of money is spent on these “extra” programs, while real jobs are being cut in the county for people who could really use that paycheck.  Then, on paper, it looks like the administrator is doing a great job on “cutting expenses.”

If you look at the budget or attend the meetings, the Ag Center is really not listed, except it is discussed under “Capital Projects.”  This is what we have to watch, as items can be slipped under capital projects to be added or deleted.  For now, the lease is being discussed with the FSA/NRCS to keep them in Baldwin Ag Center, but it was stated at the meeting “through May 2014 with option to extend”…meaning the administrator still wants to get everyone out of the Ag Center eventually.  We need to urge our supervisors to do what they can possibly do to keep the administrator from offering the Ag Center for sale.  One man has too much power to do what he wants, and it is hurting the people in our county.

Charlotte Croes
Deer Park, WI