One Last Shot

November 16, 2007

We here in Louisiana have to make one last choice in for the future of our state, one that will last four years.

The success of Bobby Jindal’s new administration depends on it. Maybe you don’t care whether or not Bobby Jindal succeeds and good for you. It means either you’ve found a way to eat at the trough of the taxpayers, or have become comfortably numb being mired in the pits of hell.
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But for the rest of us, a successful Louisiana government is a much needed breath of fresh air. From those who send their kids to dilapidated schools, to those that make extra sacrifices so that their children can get a decent education in a private school. Or those of us who are sick of government reaching into our pockets for extra cash and providing us with crash test highways, and no, that wasn’t a Foster Campbell joke.

It means that families can raise children in a safe environment without having to deal with a high murder rate, or we can continue to watch the children we raise that actually survive long enough, move out of the state.

We remain high in new AIDS cases, and last in education. Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of being last in everything.

It’s time for a change. For years we’ve been rewarding legislators by re-electing them when they’ve done wrong, all because we think the other guy’s worse. October was different. We gave new people a chance, we got some fresh blood in there, and for that we deserve praise.

But we’ve left the back door open, and it’s time to shut it, or let the disease infested politics of old back in. We still have some of that old guard still hanging around waiting for you to vote for them, and with them is the stench of corruption, a poison that can fill the minds of the new guys.

We have all made mistakes in our lives, many were nothing more than youthful indiscretions. We grew up, and those mistakes helped us grow up. But by the time anybody becomes an elected official, we hope they have matured into a responsible adult, one that takes his job seriously. One that will put the best interest of the state ahead of self-interest.

Those that are still standing for one last round, I encourage you, take a look at how they held their respective offices, and ask yourself we’re they responsible with their positions? If not, shouldn’t they be kicked out?

Is it responsible to use your office as District Attorney and violate restraining orders? Or to cuss out the legislative auditor? Or to ruin the reputation of five people in a bribery and extortion case only to mysteriously drop the charges? Or to allow a third party to break the law on his behalf? To my knowledge, Caldwell’s never denounced those third party attack ads.

But in my opinion, Buddy Caldwell’s the type of guy who would go to another state on a hunting trip, overdo his hunting limit, then sue the officer who gave him a ticket, but that’s just my opinion.

We have Yvonne Dorsey, whose recent email telling people they’ll get a little mark by their name when she’s serving in the State Senate if they give her money, which isn’t so bad. After all, during campaigns, we hear all kinds of promises (think John Edwards and crippled people walking again), but Yvonne seems to endorse her using state taxpayer money to fund her alleged boyfriends non-profit organization (as reported by WAFB). Her State Senate career depended deeply in what Cleo Fields was going to do, that in itself is not a good sign.

Let’s kick the long-termers out, all of them. Let’s finish the job, let’s clean up the state. We’re half way there, finish it, go vote, then pray.

Bowling Green, Ky.-Area Budgets See Slight Improvement.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News May 16, 2004 By Scott Sisco, The Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News May 16–County budgets around the region are shaping up to look a lot like last year’s — up only slightly.

The budgets must pass first reading at the fiscal court, then the Department of Local Government approves the document before it’s sent back to the fiscal court for second reading.

In Butler County, Judge-Executive Hugh Evans said his budget didn’t include any raises for employees for the second straight year.

“Everything stayed pretty well the same,” he said. go to website bowling green ky

The jail budget increased a little because the county had been trading prisoners with Ohio County. Ohio County would house Butler County’s women and Butler County took some of Ohio County’s men. Now Butler County is taking its women to the Warren County Regional Jail.

The budget, which has already passed two readings by the Fiscal Court, is about $3.9 million this year. It was about $4.8 million last year, but that included a $1 million state grant that passed through the county for a water project, Evans said.

“If you get grant money, it changes your budget each year,” Evans said. “I hope this time next year, we get some industry in here so our budget can go up.” The loss of Sumitomo in 2002 has decreased the occupational tax income by about $250,000 to $300,000 each year, Evans said.

Barren County’s spending plan is increasing by about $800,000, Judge-Executive Davie Greer said. The biggest part of that increase is $100,000 for improvements to the jail’s roof and plumbing.

The budget also includes some new items that are grant-funded, such as the drug task force the county that Glasgow and Cave City formed last year. New office equipment for the county clerk’s office, insurance increases, a new dump truck and a new sheriff’s car are also included, as well as a 3 percent increase in salaries.

“It just amounts up,” Greer said. “Every time you turn around, there’s something you have to add to.” The Barren County Fiscal Court will probably have second reading on its budget at its June 1 meeting if the document is back from the DLG.

Edmonson County has passed its budget also. It increased from $4.3 million to $4.9 million. Those increases were in the jail budget, insurance payments and utilities, County Treasurer Ann Bullock said. The jail budget has increased because of rising insurance costs for the prisoners. The county doesn’t have a jail, so it contracts with Grayson County. in our site bowling green ky

Logan County’s budget increased from about $7.8 million to $8.9 million thanks to its new occupational tax, Judge-Executive John Guion said.

“A big portion of that is the difference in the contingency of each fund,” Guion said.

The budget includes a 5 percent raise for employees, but the county also has to pay higher Social Security and other costs on that increase.

“All the costs of business are going up,” Guion said.

The general fund contribution to the jail is a little less this year because the state inmate population has been higher than the county projected last year, he said. In the current budget, the jail was estimated to receive $257,000 in state money for housing inmates. The county has already received more than $300,000 through February. The jail budget is $1.996 million.

Medical expenses have also decreased since the jail contracted with Southern Health Partners to provide medical care for the inmates. The new budget includes about $90,000 less for medical expenses, Guion said.

“Hopefully it will materialize,” he said.

The Simpson County budget is up about $200,000 from the current budget, Judge-Executive Jim Henderson said. The current budget started at about $5.4 million, but was amended through the year to about $6.2 million, mostly through additional revenue from the jail for housing state inmates.

The new budget is around $6.4 million.

Much of the increase is from grants for a new animal shelter and road projects, Henderson said.

“There’s just a host of things like that,” he said.

The county also has some new items to pay for. The planning and zoning office was put under the county this year. Over the past few years, the county’s budget has grown because other services, like the 911 dispatch center, have come under the county’s umbrella.

“The bottom line has grown considerably in the last few years,” Henderson said. “But not all of it is arbitrary spending.” Allen County is still working on its budget for the coming fiscal year, Judge-Executive Johnny Hobdy said. He is trying to be conservative because the county will lose some revenue from Sumitomo, which is closing a facility. Some additional revenue will come when the J.M. Smuckers plant opens this summer.

Hobdy said he’s counting on the companies that are currently in the county to stay there, but that can always change.

“We’re hopeful that won’t happen,” he said. “We’ll continue to recruit new businesses and industries and work with existing.” The fiscal court will have a budget workshop at its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

Warren County treasurer Jerry Pearson has completed a preliminary budget, but he’ll be working on the final budget all this week. The fiscal court could hold first reading on the budget at it’s first June meeting. Pearson is waiting on some numbers from the state to complete the budget, he said.

“I’m still trying to secure all that information so that I can see a true version of the budget,” he said.

Pearson doesn’t expect a big increase or decrease, but the budget probably will be smaller than last year’s $21 million budget because of a $2 million general obligation bond in the last budget for the parks and recreation department.


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