Originally created 07/04/06

Commissioners on costly ego trip

I congratulate Augusta's mayor, Deke Copenhaver, for having the fortitude to create a think tank that involves members of our local finance community. Of course, these individuals have the financial expertise and wisdom that many of our Augusta commissioners lack to get the city government back on a correct and positive financial agenda.

If the mayor's think tank becomes a reality, then these economic experts can teach our commissioners something about Economics 101. I'm convinced the majority of commissioners don't know anything about supply-and-demand economics, deficit reduction, deficit spending, fixed expenditures and balanced budgets. Therefore, the mayor is definitely correct in seeking professional advice from financial experts.

I was always told that if you don't know something you better ask somebody, and I'm appreciative of the mayor for asking the experts for help. Of course, it's a sad state of affairs that many of our commissioners are not economically savvy or astute, and don't possess any financial expertise or wisdom that would have prevented the city from getting into a financial crisis in the first place. Can these individuals balance their personal checkbooks? If not, then how can citizens expect them to intelligently and properly deal with a multimillion-dollar city budget? What's wrong with this picture?

Does it make sense for commissioners to spend more than $100,000 to acquire a new electronic voting system to cast votes in meetings? Eleven or 12 laptop computers can be properly and effectively installed as voting mechanisms for approximately $25,000. Even better, they could raise their hands to vote and spend no money for gadgets.

When commissioners screw up the city's finances, it results in citizens paying higher taxes, and this is the ultimate shame. Commissioners must properly take care of city business and stop ego-tripping. Am I making sense?

E. Maner, Augusta


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