You are my Sunshine, my only sunshine
<$BlogMetaData$>March 30th, 2011
YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, MY ONLY SUNSHINE!
Last week was Sunshine Week. This is celebrated by newspapers, reporters and people associated with making government “TRANSPARENT” for reporting accurately what is happening with our government agencies on the federal, state, and local level. Well this next part deserves to be in bold print because some county officials are NOT being transparent and this deserves to be brought to the public’s attention. They are laughing at us. We can’t threaten them, they are government. So There!
MARICARROL KUETER FROM THE “ARGUS LEADER” WROTE IN HER ARTICLE ABOUT TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT THAT SHE CALLED THE UNION COUNTY AUDITOR AND ASKED FOR
· DOCUMENTS OR CORRESPONDENCE DEMONSTRATING EFFORTS BY UNION COUNTY OR STATE OFFICIALS TO EVALUATE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF HYPERION REFINING LLC. IN ADDITION, WE ASKED FOR INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY'S PLAN FOR FINANCING CONSTRUCTION OF AN OIL REFINERY IN UNION COUNTY. THE UNION COUNTY AUDITOR DENIED OUR REQUEST AS DID THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
Shame, shame. Well, so much for the county helping Hyperion and their mission of ‘transparency’. Common decency should prevail here and they should give us an explanation. It is either that or they will be admitting by their silence that the county is about to give us the big one (shaft). You don’t suppose the county and Hyperion are in collusion do you? This has been a put up job since the very beginning. Is this state and this county hurting for money so badly that they will grovel to such low standards just to get “economic development” and to let Hyperion get their grubby paws in here? It is unconscionable that Ms. Klumper and the commissioners remain close mouth about this since the county approved Hyperion both at the Planning and Zoning level and at the Commissioners level. It is a done deal as far as they are concerned, so why can’t they release what the Argus is asking for. We have a right to know what they are doing. This is after all, still a democracy.
What does the county have to hide in its dealings with Hyperion? Or should it be turned around? Is it finally coming out of the mouse’s corner that this is a sham? Hyperion has no more intention of building a refinery than pigs can fly. Oh but there’s more. There was an ad in the Sioux City Journal Friday from Hyperion saying that they are in fact coming. They even have an office in Elk Point and it has been there since 2008. Here is the link if you would like to read OLD news. http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/special-section/local/rec/pdf_90d30d68-56fc-11e0-9862-001cc4c03286.html
When is this Silliness going to end?
I was sitting at the commissioners meeting all fat, dumb and happy when I heard the chairman asking for a motion to approve the states attorney to sign a real estate contract for purchase of 8 acres of ground at Load King for $150,000.00. I almost dropped my teeth. There had been no previous discussion about this purchase (executive session maybe), but never in public. They didn’t mention where the money was coming from; whether or not money had been budgeted for this purchase (it wasn’t); whose budget it was coming out of, or why they were going to purchase this property.
It turns out that the property is being purchased for the highway department to have more room. They thought the Load King property would be perfect since there was an offload station for trains to dump sand, gravel, rock, rip rap, and whatever to save transportation costs on stuff coming in for them to use. This is about as close as I can get to why they purchased this property. I talked to Mr. Roggow and he assured me that the opt out money is not being used to acquire this land. I thanked him for that. He said that he stands by that because he mentioned at all the meetings last summer before the vote that all the opt out money would be used for repair of roads and bridges. I told him I would be putting that in my article this week because sure as heck people are going to think it is coming from opt out funds. I still wanted to know where the money was coming from so I called Milt Ustad and he told me that it would be coming out of contingency funds.
Here is the definition of contingency funds. Pay close attention to the last sentence in this definition.
There are two reasons why families need contingency funds: for emergencies and for major expenditures.
Emergencies. A contingency fund is first an emergency fund for dealing with the unexpected. By having this money set aside and readily available, emergencies can be paid for without having to borrow.
Major expenditures. A contingency fund also can be used to finance major expenditures that are not in the operating budget:.
Whether contingency funds are used for emergencies or for major expenditures, a good rule to follow is that whenever funds are withdrawn from contingency accounts every effort should be made to rebuild the fund as quickly as possible. Naw – ain’t gonna happen.
I would imagine that the main reason for taking money out of the contingency fund is because this purchase was not allocated in the budget AND if they waited until next years budget, the property might already be sold. Now having said that, are the commissioners going to take $150,000 out of the highway department budget next year to pay for this? FAT CHANCE!
I found out by talking to Mr. Roggow that he has been saving money each year to build a new facility. He has been putting $75,000 away each year to enable him to do this. I understand he has been saving this money each year for 6 or 7 years. I was always under the presumption that if money is left over at the end of the year it goes to the general fund. Is that kosher? If that is the case, is he over estimating his budget by that much every year to have that money available?
And the beat goes on.