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Taxpayers have a right to know
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Dear Editor,
Should the taxpayers of the city of Larned and Pawnee County have a right to know where many thousands of dollars are spent and for what purpose?
My case in point, the city of Larned and the Pawnee County Commissioners give the Pawnee County Economic Development Commission many thousands of dollars a year and we the taxpayers are at a loss as to where and how this money is spent.
I have researched the records of the city and county to find out how much has been paid to th PCEDC in the last four years and this is what I found: The city has paid, in 2007-$15,429.32, 2008-$31,000, 2009-$31,000, 2010-$26,000 for a total of, $103,429.32. Pawnee County has paid, in 2007-$45,000, 2008-$40,000, 2009-$31,250, 2010-$10,400 for a total of $126,650.00. The combined total would be, $230,079.32 for the four years or $57,519.83 per year or $4,798.32 per month.
On top of all of the monies given by the city of Larned listed above, the city gives the Chamber of Commerce and the PCEDC in-kind services of building maintenance, janitorial, insurance and utilites with a cost of about $9,400 per year. This would be about $4,700 each per year or $391.67 per month of in-kind value.
I figure the PCEDC is receiving aproximately $62,219.83 year for a grand total of $5,184.98 per month from the city and county.
As a concerned taxpayer, I wrote a letter to the PCEDC sighting the Open Records Act requesting the salary that is being paid to its new executive director. Their response was that they will not reveal the salary paid the executive director.
In my opinion, and the opinion of others, it is a very sad day when the taxpayers give thousands of dollars to support the Pawnee County Economic Development Commission and we are told by the comission, in essence, that is none of our business as to what that salary may be.
If we, the taxpayers, are unable to ask questions and receive answers on a local level, how can we expect Topeka and Washington D.C. give us answers?
The taxpayers of Larned and Pawnee County have a right to know how the PCEDC spends its money and especially what salary the new executive director is being paid.
Lee Hockett,