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Where is the accountability?

Where is the accountability?

Six of seven Brainerd City Council members voted to borrow $980,000 for capital improvements. Citizens would be responsible for the principal and interest payments with a tax levy increase.

Citizens are very fortunate that enough registered voters signed a petition that would provide the voters an opportunity to vote on this issue. So far the council hasn’t decided to allow this issue on the ballot for the general election in 2014. Expenditures should be based on needs not wants of politicians and government bureaucrats.

At the Jan. 6 council meeting, I ... (planned to provide) ... the council with financial information showing why it wasn’t necessary to borrow $980,000 for capital improvements.

It will take citizens about 10 minutes to read my information.

Evidently the council finds it’s easier to increase taxes for purchasing equipment rather than utilizing funds that are available for purchasing equipment.

Undoubtedly Council members didn’t request financial information or study the fund balances or ask any questions before voting in favor of borrowing $980,000. Where is the accountability?

Having spent 12 years as a council member, I know my way around city hall and am very familiar and knowledgeable about city finances and fund balances of the different city accounts.

Why did the council approve a 12.7 percent tax levy increase for 2014? The city received an additional $392,579 in state aid funds and there are reductions that could be made in payroll expenditures.

Tax increases won’t affect the upper income citizens as much as it will affect the moderate and low income citizens. Brainerd’s per capita income in 2012 was $19,138.

Council member Mary Koep didn’t vote in favor of borrowing the $980,000 and she and her husband signed the petition.

Bob Olson


BOB OLSON is a former Brainerd City Council member.

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.
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