Public loses twice in courtroom remodel

I am not completely convinced in letting our government manage public funds. In the May 28 Local section of The Bulletin, it was reported that the county was $110,000 overbudget for the courtroom refurbishment. Shocked at the title, I read on. It turns out if the county “was not over their budget they would have been on their budget.” I feel so much better now knowing our tax dollars are in intelligent hands. Moreover, the article stated, “We are being creative and effective with the use of our funds.” My business could be creative with an extra $110,000!

The problem is not a lack of creativity. The problem of being over- budget lies in the county “putting its own employees on the job.” I am not sure that allowing the county to employ its own people to perform the remodel allows for accountability. Forcing government to live within its means through a balanced approach that protects key priorities and ensures public funds are respected is an age-old problem. Who is watching our cookie jar? The article states clearly that “the scope of the job was too much for the county.” At least with a private contractor, the overage would be regurgitated back into the local economy. When a public entity exceeds its spending limit, the public loses twice. Shame on — us?

John Cook

Bend