Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
"Keeping them honest" is especially important as we approach the final days in this election cycle.
I would like to correct inaccurate statements in a recent letter to the editor in the St. Cloud Times related to Stearns County's 2010 budget cuts. The writer claims that the County "only" reduced its budget by $18.7 million, not $20.5 million as stated by Commissioner Vince Schaefer. Schaefer's numbers are correct! The letter writer failed to account for the additional $1.8 million in cuts after the original budget had been adopted in December 2009. Those cuts made the County's total budget reduction for the 2010 year to be 14.9 percent, or the $20.5 million that Commissioner Schaefer referenced.
The writer goes on to talk about the County's 2008-2009 budget increase. According to the County's five-year road program, nearly all of the budget increase identified in the letter was due to anticipated state and federal road project dollars coming to Stearns County, which had little effect on the tax levy. Would the writer have preferred that Stearns County not accept those much-needed federal and state dollars?
In regard to taxes, County Auditor-Treasurer records show that Stearns' property tax rate has actually decreased nearly 5 percent during Commissioner Schaefer's tenure on the Stearns County Board. The State Auditor's website shows that Stearns County is the second-lowest spending/per capita county in Minnesota.
It's these real budget numbers and decisions that impact people's lives that make Vince Schaefer the best choice on Nov. 2. A vote for Vince Schaefer is a vote to continue using a common-sense approach to fiscal responsibility. Please do the math and keep Vince's opponents honest!
Mark Sakry, District 2
Stearns County Commissioner