Dear Editor: Somehow, I think we are misusing the English language when the commissioners talk about a "rollback" in property taxes. My copy of the American Heritage Dicitionary says rollback means "a reduction of prices or wages to a previously lower level." I suspect that other dictionaries say something similar. Let’s call this what it is, a tax increase in a year when many of us are having a hard time making ends meet.
It wasn’t long ago that the Sheriff’s Department had many less staff members, but seemed to patrol the roads just as often. I suspect that much of its growth is in its office staff and other functions not directly involved in dispensing justice. Having served on juries, I can promise you that the court operation could stand a good streamlining, starting with the judges and administrators paying more attention to the time and money wasted in trials that do not move promptly. New ways are being found to make many processes more efficient. The courts should also let go of yesterday’s ways.
Why is it necessary to contract so much local road work? It seems that the roads department does little "in-house" maintenance other than to send out the periodic bunch of tree butchers who chew up trees with their sideways mounted bush hog and leave lots of mangled-up mess behind.
I do not support a tax increase and I believe that there are still a number of expenditures, especially in legal fees, projects, contracting and other expenditures for work that county staff is surely qualified to do.