"Looking Back"


After having an attendance of 18 at the 2005 truth & taxation meeting, the DJ from a local radio station asked Commissioner Al Johnston his thoughts about this big turn out. Without hesitation Johnston claimed the budget was cut to the bone and that they would be laying off a blade operator and also a deputy.

Orris Rasmusson had invited me to attend their Friday Dec. 9, 2005 final budget meeting. Which I did along with Jon Jenson and two others…. Yes, it got very loud echoing from the south end thoughout the courthouse hall to the front door...

On Monday, Dec. 12, 2005 the department heads volunteered to cut their own budgets by 200K and presented it to Chairman Rasmusson…”Remember” Al Johnston said it was cut to the bone!!... On Tuesday Dec. 27, Co. Board members Rasmusson, Stone and Foldesi cut the county highway budget 100K…..making it a total of 300K reduction from the approved 2006 budget. Not bad for two loudmouths.

In mid-January 2006 I spoke with county coordinator Trish Harren. My question was, “are the board members using ‘line item budgeting’” her answer was no.

Think of it, since 1906 until 2006 the county budget was approve by “What” ?? Over the past 100 years... Maybe that’s when a wink & nod started. ….And all the time you voters thought you had elected the most capable people. I know they want you to think that. .. After 15 years of involvement I claim to differ.

In mid-January 2006 chairmen Orris Rasmusson drove to my place to ask me if I could attend the county board meeting. To help get some control in the board room. Orris said Commissioner Johnston and Walker just walk out whenever. ...Commissioner Stone has been absent with cancer leaving Commissioner Foldesi and I in the board room.

Johnston was one of five commissioners that allow outsourcing Engineering for road designing that were 6 figure cost…. I put a stop to that February 2006.

2008 or 9 Johnston and Foldesi spearheaded this tax forfeit land in Huss Twp that had a gravel pit, and a 4,000 yd. pile of gravel. They and the rest of the board along with Brian Ketring, the Co. Eng., decided to put it up for bids and sold it... When a county board is selling gravel pits a close second to this would be burning your own house so you can live in the barn.…. Now, you know just how worthless Brian Ketring really was.

Also don’t forget about the 2002 flood at Springsteel which created a very washboard section of Co. 13 and it took until 2009 to repair it.. I had been on the co. board verbally along with emailing them for two years… Just a simple repair of 80-100 tons of asphalt hauled in from where ever there was a hot plant even from TRF and have it blade laid for a cost of 15 to $20,000.... Instead “Eight years of the most recreational traveled road in the county and it was just forgotten about for 8 years.” The locals evidently didn’t complain.

To District One, You have 3 good people that filed along with 2 of the past. We need new input not more old habits.

Jim Jenson


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