Full details needed to justify extension of county mill levy
I read in the Sept. 9 Summit Daily News that the Summit County Commissioners have made the decision to ask for the extension of the mill levy which was instated by voters 17 years ago (1986) to build the current Summit County Justice Center.
The mill levy has apparently been continued over the years in order to give the commissioners a
taxpayer-supported bank account to purchase items they want as approved by voters on a very generally worded ballot question.
I can understand how a mill levy can be continued over a period of years to address county needs, I just don’t understand how voters can approve a mill levy with such flimsy justification of need and practically no specifics concerning how and when the money will be spent.
Providing only general descriptions such as to “build a community health care center, improved recycling facilities at the landfill, a water project and parks” demonstrates a lack of planning, or perhaps concern for voters, on the part of the commissioners and is insufficient information to expect voter approval.
There are so many questions which voters should ask before approving the continuation of this mill levy for the very general purposes stated.
When and where will the community health care center be built, how is the need for one justified, what will it cost, when will it be open, how will the operating cost of the facility be supported – will it require an additional mill levy for support, and if so, how much and for how long, etc?
Why is an improved recycling facility at the dump needed, what will it cost, when will it be constructed, how will it improve the quality of the environment?
What water project, where will it be, what is the need, who will it serve and what will it cost?
Parks – what kind of a description of need is this? Where will it or they be constructed, will current parks be improved or will there be new ones, how was the need for these new or improved facilities verified, etc?
In my opinion, county commissioners, after having the money allocated to them for such a long time, have taken the view the money generated by this mill levy is theirs to use as they see fit and have no need to justify the expenditure to voters other than in very general terms.
Perhaps these items are really needed, and are not just a “want” list of how money generated by a mill levy, owed to and owned by, the county commissioners will be spent.
Personally, I need more information before I can vote to continue this mill levy.
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