Taxing questions for the Grand County Council

Editor,

The Grand County Council wants over $1.5 million in new and additional spending.

stack of money
Photo courtesy of Flying Logos/Wikimedia Commons

Have you noticed that almost every week we read another article in The Times-Independent about how the Grand County Council doesn’t have enough money to meet their wants; I don’t think anyone begrudges the regular county employees their cost of living increase.

However, many of us do have a problem with the council raising taxes to create new positions such as assistant HR person $46,000. $380,000 for capital projects, maybe you should skip those. What about the $30,000 for reclassification of airport director; and $141,000 for Old Spanish Trail Arena. And what about the Trail Mix volunteers that you decided to put on the county payroll? Then there is the $74,000 for council Administration, you already have a county administrator.

What is the additional $730,000 additional funding to the Grand County Sheriffs office and what are the “critical vacancies?” How critical are these positions and are they new positions? Maybe we don’t need them. What is the $46,000 additional funding for justice court? Then there is the $150,000 for updating the general plan. They should get together with planning and zoning, building department and any other department they need and do it themselves. It’s just an update and that amount would pay for the cost of living raises.

And why are you giving $100,000 to the fire department? The fire department is a special service district and can set their own increase through their regular budget process, why are we giving them anything when we don’t have enough money for our own county needs? The library is also a special service district and has their budgeting process. Let them get the extra money they need through their own budget process.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our fire department. I just can’t see why the county is choosing to give them money from the county general fund. They have no business doing that. We don’t ask the fire and library departments to give us money from their budgets when the county runs short.

I do not pretend to know what all these brief accounts are that are stated in the newspaper but it sure looks like the council is trying to get all their wants at the expense of the other county officials and department heads and country employees. The cost of living raises only comes to $152,000.

Wow, and they want you to think that it will be a real struggle to come up with that amount.

Maybe the council should try pretending it is their home budget. I’ll bet they could do some trimming. Try to remember that the money belongs to real people who can’t afford your budget plans.

– Merlene Dalton

Moab