To the Editor:
I attended two meetings Jan. 8, one for the rural fire district and one for John Day City Council. On the agenda, two resolutions raised my eyebrows, and I needed to investigate.
This involved a $306,000 loan from the city's water fund to the general fund for the completion of the fire hall. And then a $169,000 loan from the city to the rural fire district so the district could pay for about half of the tenant improvements at the fire hall.
So, now, not only do we owe for a bond to construct the fire hall, but an additional $300,000 over and above. It is deceiving to the taxpayers involved. This amount was accrued on cost overruns. All sorts of excuses were given.
The bottom line is it was incompetency on all parties involved before and after construction. They didn't have enough money to finish the south end of the building. The selling point on this part of the building when asking for the bond was a training area.
The city and fire chief went off on another spending spree and thought they needed to expand city hall. In turn, the idea was sent to the fire districts and approved in a sales pitch.
First off, board members are elected to be responsible for our money. They chose to follow the sheep over the cliff.
I brought this up to the city council. Their solution was to ignore the situation with a shrug of their shoulders, and they went through with it anyway, as their belligerent attitude has been since hiring this city manager. Again, following the sheep over the cliff.
The city of John Day is once again in an overreach era. While the present goals are nice, the long-term goals are catastrophic. Taxpayers from all of Grant County should be concerned and especially those in the city. After the dust settles, you and you alone will either have to file bankruptcy or pass another bond to pay your creditors.