Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another PJS Hatchet Job

We're really running OUT of patience with these jokers over at the Journal Star.

Not only do they keep insulting us (Woodford County residents), but they keep misrepresenting their own positions and attempting to rewrite history. Their arguments aren't even worth refuting anymore. Maybe that's their whole strategy - wear us down with constant inanity.

We think the PJS and some others are just frustrated that there isn't a totally REGIONAL GOVERNMENT of Tazwell, Peoria, and Woodford Counties. Of course, Peoria would be its seat and the PJS its mouthpiece.

The rest of us are just pesky annoyances, although our checkbooks are useful.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Patience is a Virtue.

We're still trying to sort things out from this Primary Election in Central Illinois. We've seen a lot of referenda go down and we've seen some approved. There still seems a movement towards "compassion" and government funding what should be private initiatives - as long as it's with "someone else's" money.

We've been astounded how well "going negative" played.

Thank you for your patience as we sort this stuff out. One thing is clear - the future can be made by a few hundred, or even scores of votes. We'll be posting some interesting stats soon. Please stay tuned.

Another impression is that we all need to encourage Chicago to seceed to Wisconsin . "Down-State" is getting neither the respect nor the bang for their buck that they deserve.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

County Budget Preparation costs

We're still trying to get our arms around the fact that it cost so much to prepare a budget for a County our size.

From the official Woodford County Board minutes for February, 2006:

" . . . Over $21,000.00 was spent to complete the budget this year. The most paid for a budget [previously] was in 2002 and that was $6,700.00. He [Board Member Mr. Karr] felt this was a terrible amount being spent for budget preparation."

Any of you that run or are involved in business know that a company sized at, say, $15 million in sales does not spend $21,000 to prepare a budget.

Let's also continue a with a business analogy. I don't know what the asset base of Woodford County would be. But let's say that there is $60 million dollars in land, cars and trucks, computers, phones, cash, etc. What is the R.O.A. - Return on Assets? Business attempts to keep its asset base working 24/7/365. You wouldn't expect your bank account to only earn interest during the weekday. You would expect that it is earning interest even when you're sleeping blissfully in your bed at night.

The same approach needs to be taken in the public sector. Not using a meeting room? Rent it out. Idle trucks over the weekend? Find a way to put them to work. Computers doing nothing after the employees go home? Sell the computation time - it goes for about 2 cents per minute. Let's say 50 computers times 2 cents times 6,500 hours. That's nearly $8,000 per year. Peanuts? Perhaps, but peanuts help feed the elephant. Don't even get us started about the wisdom of closing down the school system for 3 months out of 12.

We've been told that you can't hold government accountable in the same way you do a business. That govenment is just a service provider and therefore can't work on a "pay for productivity" basis. We've heard this from County, Municipal and School District officials. We think this is just plain wrong, and an insult to the hard workers in government and the taxpayers that "write their checks". Government has income, expenses and product (services) just like any other business. We think it needs to be run like one.