Lane County, Oregon is back in the news, this time with the “doomsday” budget scenario. Of course, they knew about the loss of Federal funds a long time ago, and as we wrote which is more likely, Commissioners actually work to solve the problem, or ignore the situation?
We have our answer: they did nothing, and once again complain about lack of funding. Of course, during all this time we’ve documented all the new hires in the County, and here’s what they’re hiring as of Feb 6, 2008 (http://www.co.lane.or.us/jobs/):
- 208-014 DESIGN ENGINEER OR DESIGN ENGINEERING SUPERVISOR $56,680 – $85,030 annually
- 207-121 MENTAL HEALTH MEDICAL OFFICER (Official Title: MANAGER) $122,117-$169,312/annually
- 208-007 Program Manager $62,005-$92,997/annually
- 208-009 Sr. System Network Analyst (Working Title: PROJECT MANAGER) $49,254-$68,203/annually
And that’s just MANAGEMENT at about $400,00 per year. Gee, what have they been working on for the last year or so? It sure wasn’t solving the budget problem.
Seated at a round table in a business building at Lane Community College, the five commissioners spent almost all of the four-hour meeting on this worst-case scenario: forwarding a budget proposal to committee that does without $20 million in federal timber money for the general fund.
Without that money, the commissioners couldn’t find funding even for their own priorities — popular programs including nutrition for women, infants and children; animal services; and the Lane County OSU Extension Service, which provides agricultural and other programs.
What about CITIZEN priorities? As usual, the cuts will hit public safety hard.
If only those people would give us more money, we could fund OUR priorities. Gee, maybe if we cut what THEY want, we’ll get more money and can do what WE want….
Lane County citizens, be prepared, another tax proposal to fix this mess the Commissioners have ignored will be coming soon to a ballot near you.