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Many questions about supervisor spending

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Kevin Kula, guest columnist

Sometime before the election of 2006, there was an article printed in The Gazette about dividing the salaries of the three Linn County supervisors among the five who were elected in November 2006, and they would work part time. The current Linn County supervisors have told me they did not have anything to do with that.

While collecting signatures for our petition to move the number of Linn County supervisors back to three, people have told me and other members of our committee that it was their understanding that that is what they were voting for in November 2006. There was no article published from the Linn County supervisors denying this that I can find.

If what was said in that article would have come to happen, this is what the Linn County supervisors salaries would have been: Salary for one supervisor in 2006 was $87,622.45 X 3 = $262,867.35 ÷ 5 = $52,573.47.

This doesn’t include the cost of what we pay for their health insurance, pension plan, travel cost or cellphone.

This is far from what has happened. If you do the research, you can find a lot of information at the Auditor’s Office.

The cost per supervisor now counting salaries and benefits is up to, I believe, $140,000.00. Multiply that by five supervisors = $700,000.00 to run Linn County for one year.

This is just one of the ways the supervisors are spending our tax dollars. Before you vote, do some research on how our supervisors are spending our tax dollars. We need more transparency on what they are doing. Ask about the software they purchased for the county to calculate our taxes. Ask how an artist from Australia can bid on art for out in front of the Jean Oxley building at a cost of up to $100,000. Or how an artist from California can bid on art for Greene Square at a cost of up to $255,000. We have colleges here in Linn County with art departments.

The Abbe Center, Prospect Meadows, National Association of Counties — these are just a few; there’s much more if you want to do the research. We need to get the facts out to the voters so they know what they are voting for.

Your vote does count. A lot of people feel that their vote doesn’t count or it will not make a difference if they vote. If your vote did not count, why are the people who are running for a government job spending thousands and millions of dollars to get your vote?

• Kevin Kula of Coggon was one of the organizers of the initiative to reduce the number of Linn County supervisors from five to three.

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