Red Righter: Lots of Questions Concering Advisory Budget Board

From Red Righter

I think I’m going to become an adviser,” Cuffs announced to the regulars hanging out at the North Street Hotel.

“Great!” Benny Riddles shouted. “What are you going to advise about?”

“I don’t know exactly. Budget stuff, I think,” he replied. “I heard they need a bunch of citizens to give free advice to the county commissioners on how to spend—and stop spending—our tax money. If your number gets called and you’re selected, you’ll sit on some kind of “Special Delegation Advice Committee of Smart Cecil Citizens on Money Spending Matters.”

“Didn’t those paid politicians just get elected and start working at their jobs about a month ago?” Z Man asked.

“Yeah!” Cuffs said, “but it looks like some people think these commissioners, that county voters picked, already need help.”

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13 responses to “Red Righter: Lots of Questions Concering Advisory Budget Board

  1. Our PAID commissioners, who don’t know what to do, are asking for help from intelligent people.

    And the want it for free?

    Why don’t the commissioners cough up some of their compensation to pay educated and expert advisers? Obviously. they are overpaid if they can’t do the job to which they were elected.

    They could at least offer to pay, out of their own pockets mind you, for an open bar and free food at the hotel while the “Special Delegation Advice Committee of Smart Cecil Citizens on Money Spending Matters” solves the problems eluding these incompetent officials. The bar would probably fill up with volunteers.

  2. here we go again. Blue Lefter agreeing with red rider. Don’t like it but he’s right 2 times. Look at when those commissioners form a committee. They don’t go out and find a proper bunch of different types of people to help. No they allready know what they are going to do. They just pick buddies and cronies to help do it. Hey Reds look at that committee they formed to figure out how to spend tax money from the casinos. Perryville can’t get its money because the committee and c0unty forgot to write up the plan the state requires. How hard is that? Check who they put on that committee. Oh theres plenty but just thought of another real big one. That Bainbridge Development Board. Why Don’t Reds write about those two or the others. I could go on and on and show you the same stuff with other committees they did. Same thing. Notice who asked about forming it. Tea Party leaders and them commissioners jumped on it. Look which commissioner brought it up at the meeting and who is working to put it together. Moore Hodge and Broomall. It is going to be a typical Cecil County mess again. Anyone but their tea party friends going to be on it?

  3. Raoul, do you even know what your talking about or do you always like the be the one to b… and complain? Bitterness does not become you, however, let me educate you on what I know so far. As a resident/taxpayer of Cecil County and a Cecil County Patriot, this is my County so yes, I’d like to contribute (however before you get your knickers in a bunch, I did not apply). Research was done and the Commissioners were approached and asked if they would initiate a ‘citizen advisory committee’ to uncover budget excesses, waste, redundancies, etc. This was done in Harford Cty and the committee found $70 million in redundant spending and concluded that at least half of that amount could be cut from the budget without affecting services. Yes, this would be on a volunteer basis and would make no sense to pay others when we’re trying to cut the budget; that’s where the word “volunteer” comes in to play. We’re all in this together so we need to work together. Let’s call it our “contribution” and we don’t need to be paid or bribed or taken out for a free drink. This is something we are passionate about. Sitting on the sidelines/computer complaining doesn’t accomplish anything, in fact, it’s a downer. This project hasn’t even gotten started and your already ‘throwing them under the bus’. Why not give them a chance?

  4. Donna,
    If the commissioners can not do their job, then why should they be paid a full compensation? That seems like like a way to put the budget to proper use right of the block.

    Funds should be channeled to people who are the qualified for the job at hand. You know, professionals.

    I have worked with far too many committees where very little is accomplished. Usually out of a group of ten volunteers, you get one or two who actually have an idea of what they are doing.

  5. Raoul – it is true that our PAID commissioners need to do their homework, and in the end they will be making the final decision. You must keep in mind that they are part time and have a full work load as it is. Going line by line over a county budget is a monumental task and even if they were to work full time on nothing but the budget I would be surprised if they or anyone could find every area in which cuts can/need to be made. Having volunteers help in this task can only make there jobs easier and it also give the public more access to government. Its easy to say to someone that they need to do the job they were elected to do, but if you have no clue what that means then you have no room to talk.

    Obviously you have never gone line by line through a budget. Just the school budget is 168 pages and research needs to be made on each and every line item to figure out what the money is actually being spent on, and if it can be cut. Trying to figure out if a teacher salary or the cost of a field trip is to high is not a simple matter. Research must be done to compare the data to other school systems in the state, figure out how much benefit there is to each program, etc. All the while we have to do this with attention to the fact that any cut that is made could come at the expense of our childrens upbringing. You should go over the budget yourself and then come back and make comments, otherwise leave the comments to people that understand what they are talking about.

  6. Raol,
    It’s something that has been done in other counties, it increases transparency and this set of commissioners have a bigger job than any previous board because of increasing state mandates with cuts in federal and state funding. Previous boards of commissioners chose to raise taxes without scrutinizing the budget. This board of commissioners is taking some initiative and they should be commended their efforts in involving the citizen public.

  7. Stephen England

    The Citizen’s Advisory Board in Harford County has been able to identify significant waste in their budget. I see no reason why, in this time of budget crisis, we should not be using all the tools at our disposal. In the words of the sage, “in a multitude of counsellors, there is safety”.

  8. There are department heads who know what is required and how they can save money. They are in the trenches and have first hand knowledge of how their departments work and could make the most informed proposals for budget savings.

    Volunteers will bring their own agendas and little participatory knowledge. If the commissioners have no criteria for selection, how can they possibly vet applicants. Or will they just choose their cronies. Most likely. The Citizen’s Advisory Board of Cecil County should be, but cannot be, multi-partisan without a planned and published criteria for inclusion.

    No agenda, no plan, no goals other than to slash and reduce.

    No strategic plan. Just a sky is falling mentality.

    Ted, there are several very qualified individuals in this county who have and do work with far greater budgets…successfully. Why don’t the commissioners request expert advice and of course, offer compensation.

    You get what you pay for.

    Stephen, if the ‘sage’ you are quoting is Proverbs, the discussion there is ‘wise’ counsel. I really don’t think cronies qualify as wise.

    My biggest fear is that Cecil County will get a Smipkin approved and manipulated board, just like the commissioners.

  9. Jacque Broomell

    Raoul,
    Once again you attempt to speak with authority without knowing what the heck you’re talking about. Your “fear” of a “Smipkin approved” committee is as unfounded as the myth of a “Smipkin approved” board. E. J. Pipkin and Michael Smigiel ran candidates in the primary against both Commissioner Moore and Commissioner Broomell. They ran Chris Zeauskas against Tari Moore after Tari had been actively campaigning for a year and a half, and they ran Michael Dawson against Diana Broomell knowing full well what a staunch conservative Commissioner Broomell is. Michael Dawson is now employed by Delegate Smigiel as his current legislative aide. Have you done any inquiry/investigation of your own regarding Harford County’s results? It’s easy to throw stones from the sideline, especially while using an alias to do so.

  10. Hey Raoul, who are you anyway? It sounds like you are from the good old boy network. I think you need to wake up and smell the roses. You and your type are being pushed into the archives. Real change is coming and it includes 5 commissioners, most of whom are open to the people they represent. Give them a chance and give the citizens a chance. I would like to invite you to a Cecil County Patriots meeting. At this meeting you will have the opportunity to meet informed and educated citizens that have positive things to offer to our community. Thomas Jefferson said, “Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing those forms to which they are accustomed”. These patriotic members of the CCP have decided to end their suffering and man up make a difference. As soon as you are able to man up, I would like to invite you to come join us and create positive solutions to our problems. With all due respect, please reply in kind, be proud, and give your real name. Your father would be proud of you.

    • Ron,
      You make far too many assumptions and hurl insult as if you were perfect.

      Anonymity is essential, for now. When our government is open, transparent, honest and non-threatening, you will know who I am.

      For now, observe who might be standing next to you at public events, or recording your words, or nodding at you in a friendly manner.

  11. Raoul, I don’t mean to insult you. I only mean to point out the obvious. Your reply is starting to get a little weird for me. Your warning to be aware of who is standing next to me almost sounds like a threat. Should our elected officials run under an alias instead of their own name. What if the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution had been signed by Raoul instead of Thomas Jefferson or John Hancock. Would people have taken it seriously ? I feel that it is important that we stand up and speak with boldness rather than hiding behind the cloak of anonymity. How will people know who to follow rather than fear ?

    • Ron,
      How on earth did you interpret a warning or threat? Please try to not be so fearful. I was merely trying to point out that I am active in public functions. You might be able to surmise who I am. Definitely not threatening although I do tend to be a little blunt and sarcastic, as that is my nature.

      I am not signing the Declaration or the Constitution. When I am actively working or contributing, everyone involved knows exactly who I am.

      It is interesting how so many ‘Patriots’ keep referring to the founding fathers for their examples, yet forget Mr. Franklin and his many editorial personalities. As I posted earlier, just in case you missed it: “During the eighteenth century, it was common for writers and journalist to use pseudonyms, or false name, when they created newspaper articles and letters to the editor. Franklin used this convention extensively throughout is life, sometimes to express an idea that might have been considered slanderous or even illegal by the authorities; other times to present two sides of an issue, much like the point counterpoint style of journalism used today.”

      How can anyone expect others to be completely open while hiding behind closed doors? (Don’t get all riled up now Ron … that is not directed at you)

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