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Current commissioners wasting money

Letter to the Editor

 


Regardless of political leanings, people want their taxes to be spent wisely and efficiently. Having observed our current Board of County Commissioners during their regularly scheduled meetings, I am convinced that efficient use of our tax dollars is not a top priority.

Here is an example: on March 21st, a county Public Works employee brought the commissioners a report comparing the costs of outsourcing vs. in-house equipment repairs. The time period addressed was between Sept. 17, 2015, and Feb. 26, 2016. In that time, the additional amount spent by the county on outside labor, compared to the cost of doing the work in-house, was $25,928.58 ($34,423.28 vs. $8,494.70). Outside labor cost 405 percent of in-house work. The considerable costs to haul equipment for outside repair were not included in these numbers. The sad thing is that much of the work was done in Wenatchee, so local businesses received little benefit. 

When provided this information, the commissioners did not ask questions, request more information, or discuss possible changes to save taxpayers’ dollars. Commissioner Kennedy noted that there are overhead costs that are not visible in the in-house numbers. There was no attempt to identify what overhead or hauling costs might be. The subject was simply dropped.

Out of curiosity, I added 33 percent to the county’s projected labor costs to account for overhead and benefits. With only that change and no adjustment for hauling costs, the cost of outside labor costs dropped to “only” 305 percent of county labor.

This example is just one of several ways the county commissioners are failing the taxpayers. We in Okanogan County may have little influence on state or national government, but individual votes certainly matter on the local level. It is time for sensible, responsible leadership. That would be Chris Branch. 

Gina McCoy

Winthrop

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