Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My stance on the budget

My choice of using print rather than electronic media to communicate with voters seems to have riled Sun Valley resident, Mr. Suhadolnik. I was surprised that he attributes a quote to me that is out of context with my views on consolidated dispatch.

I have stated that Sun Valley should provide financial leadership when it makes sense for its taxpayers. Mountain Rides is an excellent example. Because of the funding provided by the cities of Sun Valley and Ketchum for free tourist bus services, Mountain Rides receives over $500,000 in federal funding to provide a commuter service that brings employees into the north county.

Regarding consolidated dispatch, the amount being requested of Sun Valley by the County of $115,630 is not significantly more that the $106,862 the City is currently paying. To continue as the lone entity of eleven jurisdictions preventing the entire County from moving forward with an agreement essential to our public safety creates costs as well.

I am also surprised to be characterized as profligate with taxpayers' funds. During last summer's budget process, I advocated strongly not to pass a deficit operating budget and to institute an immediate hiring freeze, given the economic downturn unfolding. Having been outvoted on these requests, I supported the overall budget so the City could continue to carry out its business.

If Mr. Suhadolnik's is concerned about overspending of his tax money, he might ask why Sun Valley, with a tax rate that is about double that of Ketchum's, has a deficit operating budget? I encourage all Sun Valley residents to engage in next summer's budget process, where the decisions will be made about spending reserves, saved during prior administrations, on repairing roads, funding current operating deficits and preserving funds for future capital needs.

Joan Lamb

Sun Valley

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