County board takes hits for financial woes

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

Linda Litterest addressed the Mercer County Board as a taxpayer and a county employee at its Feb. 3 meeting concerning the county’s financial problems.

Litterest described the county as a big responsibility and a big business. “We are counting on you.”

She criticized the county for not having long-term plans for the future. If you had long term plans we wouldn’t be here.”

Litterest added, “I hope the board appreciates the gifts they have.” She commented about the work the building commission has done in the past concerning the courthouse roof repairs. “You don’t have to worry about the roof any more.”

Litterest said, “The sheriff cooperates with the board.” She added that the deputies and the revenue from the federal prisoners are gifts that have been given.

Litterest asked the county to make a long-term plan in regards to wages it pays to employees. “You know this issue is something you have to do.”

Litterest said, “We’ve spent more money than what we’ve got.”

Litterest said, “Our supervisors have offered to help you. We have good dedicated employees. There is not a single one you can do away with.”

Litterest added, “The public is becoming aware of the county’s deficit and are concerned. In my house ‘If you don’t have the money you don’t get it’” She noted that there was a saying that people should keep three to four months worth of expenses back in case of emergency now people need eight months. She advised the board to keep ‘untouchable’ funds set aside for times like today. She advised the board to start this when the tax money starts coming in. She said she used to work for the Sherrard School District and they always set aside enough wages to pay their employees.

“Several people here have good ideas about how to save money.”

She advised the board to eliminate the upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

Litterest reiterated, “Our jobs are important. It’s important that everybody keep their job.” She told the board to “Make a plan and stay with it.”

Her remarks met with applause from the audience.