Monday, March 10, 2014

IT'S UP TO YOU NOW!

GET OUT THE VOTE - IT'S UP TO YOU NOW!

We had planned on having a "meet the candidates" meeting prior to the April 1 county board election, but it seems we have run out of time - too many things going on at once.  The good news is that we have, for the first time in years, a good number of candidates running for office and we should end up with a new board that will be more focused on the business of government and the taxpayers pocketbook!

Some of you have been following the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors activities, or lack thereof, over the past two years as I have reported on activities of the Board.  I was elected in April of 2012 and began serving on the board at that time.  Once I started serving on the board, it became apparent very quickly that, as long as this board was in place, some of the reforms that should be instituted in the county would never be instituted with the existing board.  So we went out and appealed for folks to run for the board, and find them we did!  In the following three weeks leading up to the election there will be a number of articles appearing in "The County Times" and "The Kewaunee Star News" about these candidates.

We (myself and seven other conservative board members) have made some progress in controlling costs and holding county employees accountable, but not enough.  We have pressing issues facing the county, here are just a few (not in order of priority):

  • Develop a strategy to solve the revenue loss we will experience as a result of the Kewaunee Power Plant closure.
  • Work with our farmers, our Legislative Body, DNR, Land and Water and Health Department to deal with the water quality issues we have in our county.
  • Revamp our county employee health insurance program.
  • Restructuring the Highway Department for more efficient and cost controlled operation.
  • Working to develop a budget process that truly delves into the numbers so the board not only understands where, and how your money is being spent but participates in the process.
  • Develop a county-wide coordinated tourism marketing effort utilizing our existing resources at private, county and city levels.
  • Put in place a Schedule II  employee rating system that works and provides justifications for salary increases and recognizes those employees who consistently perform.
  • Create policy that provides better accountability for the money being spent by board members who find it necessary to attend numerous out of county meetings.

IT'S UP TO YOU!  YOU HAVE TO GET OUT AND VOTE AND ELECT BOARD MEMBERS WHO WILL DO THE JOB FOR THE TAXPAYER!

Since I have been on the board, I have been maintaining a spreadsheet that tracks the cost of the board members who serve the taxpayers.  Why do I do this?  I find it extremely interesting that a few board members feel compelled to make it to many out of town meetings and there is virtually no reporting back to the board as to what they learned while at these meetings.

Now mind you, it's not a ton of money, but what I have found through my years of managing budgets is you save a thousand here and there and pretty soon it adds up to real money.

What I think is reasonable is, if any board member elects to attend an out of county meeting(s) and charges the county for those expenses, that person or persons should be required to make a 5 minute or so, report to the entire board on that meeting.  That way we all (entire board) get something out of the expenditure.  It goes without saying, if we have a county vehicle available they should be using that vehicle rather than taking their own vehicle and charging the county mileage.

Just so you understand these numbers.  For every board meeting each board member is paid $100.  For most committee meetings, the board member is paid $40 or $60 on average.  So if a board member went to 10 board meetings they would have earned $1,000 plus mileage to those board meetings.  If they had attended 10 committee meetings locally they would receive (depending on how long the meeting lasted) about $600 plus mileage to those meetings.  You can see from these numbers, there are a few board members who attend a lot of meetings.

     Kewaunee County Board Members Per Diem and Expenses
                        Apr 2012 - February 2014
Board MemberMileage & Exp                    Wages          Total 
 Abrahamson/James  $               212.74  $               8,830.00 $       9,042.74
 Barlow/James  $            2,263.28  $               7,980.00 $     10,243.28
 Cravillion/Dennis  $               506.94  $               3,180.00 $       3,686.94
 Dax/Brian  $               650.13  $               6,570.00 $       7,220.13
 Delebreau/Don  $               781.89  $               5,430.00 $       6,211.89
 Garfinkel/Bob  $            1,214.57  $               7,650.00 $       8,864.57
 Heidman/Bruce  $            1,953.74  $               8,040.00 $       9,993.74
 Heuer/Ronald  $               307.80  $               3,430.00 $       3,737.80
 Hutter/Charles  $            1,833.94  $               7,590.00 $       9,423.94
 Kirchman/Larry  $            1,431.83  $               7,080.00 $       8,511.83
 Koenig/LeVerle  $            1,120.33  $               3,970.00 $       5,090.33
 Mayer/David  $            1,346.92  $               6,456.00 $       7,802.92
 Paider/Ron  $            1,412.62  $               6,820.00 $       8,232.62
 Paplham/Brian  $               743.10  $               7,470.00 $       8,213.10
 Reckelberg/Gordy  $               521.95  $               3,590.00 $       4,111.95
 Shillin/Kaye  $               206.67  $               9,150.00 $       9,356.67
 Sinkula/Linda  $            1,424.40  $              11,610.00  $     13,034.40
 Swoboda/Jan  $            3,136.46  $               7,170.00 $     10,306.46
 Wagner/Chuck  $            4,483.00  $              11,320.00  $     15,803.00
 Weidner/Robert*  $            1,502.60  $               7,810.00 $       9,312.60
                             
                               Totals       $27,055                   $141,146        $168,200

Notice Mr. Weidner's name is starred - As chairman of the board, Mr. Weidner is paid, in additional to the wages and per diem here of $9,312, a salary of $5,867 per year and 1/2 of the county sponsored health insurance family plan of $11,166 per year.  So over the 23 months represented the chairman wages, per diem and insurance totaled $41,958.

GET OUT THE VOTE - IT'S UP TO YOU NOW!