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Taxpayer watch dog

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opinion Brainerd,MN 56401 http://www.brainerddispatch.com/sites/all/themes/brainerddispatch_theme/images/social_default_image.png
Brainerd Dispatch
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Taxpayer watch dog
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Taxpayer watch dog

Yes, Bob Olson, alderman-at-large, is the taxpayers’ “watch dog.”

Mr. Olson knows finances and, therefore, how to read financial statements and is diligent in looking for ways to decrease our tax levy. Have other council members ever put any effort in doing the same?

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Finance director Goble recommended borrowing $1,795,000 to pay for the street construction costs. Mr. Olson recommended borrowing one million dollars and use surplus cash in the construction fund. The council voted 4 to 3 for Olson’s recommendation which saved taxpayers $900,000 in tax levies over the term of the bond. Mr. Olson also informed the council the 2012 tax levy could be reduced by $235,000 which the council approved. He recommended the 2013 tax levy could be reduced by $250,000 again by using surplus cash in the General Fund. The council voted 6 to 1 against Mr. Olson’s recommendation.

On Sept. 24, the council voted 6 to 1 promoting Theresa Goble to the position of Interim City Administrator with a salary increase of $9,500 while the council searched for a new city administrator. The council voted to delay the hiring of a new city administrator until after the election. Mrs. Goble informed the council if she was to remain as interim city administrator, the payroll clerk, who is Theresa Goble’s niece, must be promoted to the position of finance director giving her a salary increase of $35,000. She stated we then need to hire a new staff member to fulfill the payroll clerk position. Mr. Olson was the only council member to vote “no” against Mrs. Goble’s recommendation. He informed the council the position of finance director should be included with the city administrator’s position, which would save over $100,000 in wages.

Theresa Goble’s “options” were emailed to the mayor and council members just four hours prior to the special city council meeting. Was enough time and thought put into their decision? Do we enable city employees to dictate ultimatums to council members? Business owners would never allow this inconceivable action. Brainerd citizens should consider re-electing Bob Olson as their council alderman-at-large. He is a man of principle who listens to and always votes in the best interest of our citizens and supports our constitutional rights.

Jan Burton

Brainerd

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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