Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fee office questions to ponder

A few questions that got me curious. The first is just a natural question a skeptic would ask.

Cause, you know, the glass is always half empty.
Think the worst.

Always better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

There’s probably a plausible explanation. But, it doesn’t hurt to ask.


Authorities arrested Rhonda Gail Carter for allegedly stealing some coin from the county Clerk’s Office on Monday morning. The clerk, Foster Arnett, fired her that same day. Also, that same day the county commission was set to vote on a proposal that would give it more control over the fee office budgets. (Arnett is one of those offices although he’s on the record as saying he’d relinquish control.)


Did someone hold back this information?

It didn’t get out until Tuesday. Yes, the media could have missed this. That’s true. Deputies and police throw a lot of folks in the clink on a daily basis. But, typically the arrest of a public figure (or government employee) gets out rather quickly.

Now, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference whether the commission did have more authority over the financial process. She could have (allegedly) stolen this money anyway and gotten away with it (if the suspicious resident hadn’t caught her for allegedly taking it.)

Still, it would be on some folks’ minds and could have swayed the vote. Instead, the commission – because they love me so much – tabled it until next month, so they could vote on it in front of me.

Cause I’m on vacation, and they wanted me there. Cause they love me and all.

OK, that one is out of the way.

Say the commission decides not to sign off on the proposal. So far three fee officers – county Clerk Foster Arnett, Trustee John Duncan III, and Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist – say they’re cool with the plan.


Would they still turn over their budgets if the commission didn’t demand it?

A lot of folks have been throwing around the “transparency” word. These three say they’re onboard. Will they put your taxpayer money where their mouths are? Will they voluntarily turn over their budgets? Sure, they wouldn’t have to. But would they?

Obviously, there’s no reason to do it.

But, I’m just curious.

On a side note, I know some folks in the media have taken sides on the issues, whether the fee offices should submit annual spending plans to county Mayor Tim Burchett and the commission.

I don’t really care what they do, so long as someone finally makes a decision.

I’m tired of writing about it.

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