Letter: Majerus' budget-related accusations off base
I was deeply disappointed by the tone and misinformation in Jason Majerus' viewpoint (Viewpoint: Three commissioners put mural over citizens). Not so.
Majerus's scornful tone and public sarcasm aimed at his colleagues is unprofessional and does not reflect their thoughtful contributions to discussing the preliminary budget and levy presented by Scott Arneson, Goodhue County Administrator, at the Sept. 18 County Board meeting.
Brad Anderson, Ron Allen, and Paul Drotos do not deserve this scornful attack for their careful approach to the budget needs and challenges facing the county. Majerus' example of "unnecessary spending" is not accurate: there is no allocation of funds to repair any murals; in fact, the funds are to repair surface and paint in the rotunda on the upper two floors of the building, maintenance that has been neglected for years.
Rather than describe the discussion accurately, Majerus makes misleading and disparaging comments about his board colleagues' motives, and he fails to share the real challenges of this budgeting and decision-making process — ongoing since August 2018.
The preliminary budget and levy passed 3-2, with the knowledge that reductions can be made before the final budget is presented and passed. But rather than acknowledge this, Majerus sarcastically attacks the commissioners who disagreed with him.
What Majerus doesn't share is the continual reductions of state aid to the county, which Anderson explained has been reduced for several budget cycles and only now been raised to the level it was in 2014. Other factors discussed in the meeting have also reduced county revenues. To make up the gaps in funding essential services, the county has to increasingly rely on its businesses, property owners and farmers.
But we need a thoughtful approach to these challenges, not personal attacks.
If you want to get a more honest picture of this County Board meeting and discussion, here is a link to the video recording of the meeting: https://vimeo.com/290716059 or go to the Goodhue County website, County Board and check out "Meeting Videos." Get the story for yourself. The
thoughtful leadership of Allen, Anderson and Drotos deserves respect.