Monday, January 05, 2015
Higher Costs, Fewer Jobs, Less Control Steer Rock County Forward
I'm telling ya, the folks just couldn't take it any longer. What, having an efficient, cost-effective and accountable-to-the-voters county coroner's office in place for 132 years was just too much for area partisans to handle back in 2010 when county voters mistakenly approved a non-binding advisory referendum to change the publicly elected coroner to an outsourced medical examiner position. But ...such is life. So we move "forward" to the consequences.
Here's the story. Starting Jan. 5th, the Rock County Coroner's Office will no longer exist in its former capacity. Instead, Rock County taxpayers will be on the hook for $140,000 a year more over previous annual costs to outsource the office to Dane County. That's a 25% increase in just one year. Sweet, huh?
Of course that's when everything settles down AFTER taxpayers absorb an additional one-time $30K start up fee to complete the transition. When someone asked, "who wants higher costs for coroner services in Rock County?" Area taxpayers said "We Do!!" followed by "Tax us moar!"
But that's not all. In addition to the higher annual cost, Rock County will LOSE a mix of 17 full- and part-time jobs due to the change. More smiles and good news going forward!!
And, that's not all. Outside of the fact that Rock County voters (even the jobless ones) will have lost control over the direction and accountability of the office, a majority of property tax dollars that otherwise would have supported good jobs for county residents will exit the county economy. But so what! More good news! No offense meant to the fine folks in Dane County. Our loss is their gain. Obviously, keeping public service jobs in-county with our own tax dollars was never a top priority of our county "leaders."
Seeing how wonderful this is, Rock County voters should now demand the dismantlement and outsourcing of all elective county offices. From the County Sheriff to the Treasurer, Clerk and so on. They've convinced me. I'm on board for that.
After all, those offices face the same political scrum and low-cost accountability we all suffered through with the elected coroner's office, and we barely survived that 132 year run. PLUS we're on the road to red state prosperity with Right-To-Work for less regulations on the way, so we could easily shrug off the greater cost burdens associated with higher taxes on our soon to be shrunken paychecks. Ooops, I almost goofed. I meant to say even the folks at red state Forward Janesville think we must increase our taxpayer obligations, or else face an economic death spiral.
In simple terms, we're loaded with cashola!! So let's do it! If fewer jobs, higher costs and less control are good for the coroners office, it's good for the rest of our local elective offices as well. Somehow I now feel cheated out of "forward" by the remaining county office holders. We've been settling for less and that ain't right.
BDN - Acting coroner argues against deal with Dane
RNR - Rock County Coroner Resigns
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:03 AM