Right way to get solutions

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, publisher

 Getting to the bottom of waste spending is great.

That’s what people love to see.

Taxpayers want to know that their money is being spent properly.

However, there should be a right way to go about doing it. We already know the wrong way.

The recent battle between fiscal court and the jailer is a prime example of not doing it right.

We have no problem with trying to figure out if there is wasteful spending.

We have concern if there are too many hours spent on overtime.

We do not want gasoline to be used improperly.

And we do not want to be surprised when two new vehicles are purchased, even if they are bought with non-taxpayer funds.

But there is a right way to go about getting that information. 

We don’t profess to have all the answers. But we do believe there must be a better way.

A better way than to drop in the fact that while we are talking about the jail, we mention that tires had been flattened, threats had been made and freon released out of an air conditioning unit.

A better way than to laugh when a constituent has a comment or question - no matter if we think it is ridiculous or not.

We would hope that sensible people could sit down and discuss any particular issue.

We would hope that when information is requested, within reason, that it would be supplied.

We would hope that all elected officials would have the same goal - efficient and effective government.

But we also believe in the Easter bunny.

The recent discussion in Bullitt Fiscal Court served no purpose other than to drive an even bigger wedge between the court members and jailer Martha Knox.

We have no problem with the explaination given that the detention center budget just happened to be the first to come under the microscope.

We are also sure that the administrations of the past 20-30 years might be offended by the comment that government had been poorly run over that time.

We are sure that of all the agencies to begin their examination, none could have been more difficult than the detention center.

That is because the jailer is an elected official. Department supervisors are not.

We have seen over the past decade where the jail and fiscal court has clashed at times. This is no different.

There is absolutely no problem with asking the jailer questions about her operations and how it affects the budget.

Fiscal court oversees the budget.

And, yes, it is difficult to tell someone how to run a department if they are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of an operation.

What we find so difficult to believe is that grown, intelligient, sensible individuals can’t sit down and discuss the issues.

These are not closed-down executive session issues. These are simple things which should be discussed in public.

Until we are able to sit down and discuss the concerns, there will be no solution.

And we will be left with tension-filled meetings like the one which occurred last week.