A recent opinion column in another media outlet suggested that we decrease the number of county board members and eliminate supervisors to save money. The supervisors of Oneida County have been diligently looking at all the problems regarding taxes, wages, employment and employees. The column states we did not decrease taxes. However, we did. The supervisors and committees are constantly working toward keeping taxes lower, and we came up with a zero percent tax hike in 2010. This year we will also have a zero percent hike.
The county has no control over what the state will tax our district or town. In some towns, the property values are higher, and others are not as high. Nor do we have any control over what the schools are going to tax.
The employees of Oneida County will be paying 8 percent of their salary for insurance and health care, which will average approximately $300 per month. Also, the Finance Committee eliminated eight positions which will not be filled. The Sheriff’s Department has lost $700,000 in income from housing state inmates, who are now sent to other jails.
The column further states that fewer supervisors would mean less expense, and that the county board should be decreased to save taxes. By eliminating just one county supervisor, we only save $1,000. By decreasing supervisor positions, we will create many problems that will cost the taxpayers time and money. One of the problems we would create would be the need for more meetings to be held. Also, with fewer supervisors, longer and additional meetings will present a problem when it becomes necessary to obtain future people to serve on the board.
Fewer supervisors will create less input in making decisions. If we did go down in the number of county supervisors, when voting on such important matters involving a large dollar amount of the taxpayers’ money, it does not justify the input of having more representation. In other words, less supervision affect the decisions and outcome of the taxpayers’ money.
The column also states that the Oneida County delinquent taxes continue to grow. In the last four years, the citizens have paid all their delinquent taxes. Within a three year period of delinquent taxes, the county only lost one house. There has been $3 million in delinquent taxes that have been paid by the property owners, and are no longer delinquent.
Paul Dean, Rhinelander
Oneida County District 8 Supervisor