Letter to the editor:

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Letter to the editor:

How is the Mercer County Board different than executives at the financial institutions, who accepted "bail out" money and then proceeded to give themselves bonuses?

I attended the Feb. 3, Mercer County Board meeting, at which I heard:

1. A taxpayer/employee explain to the board that just as in you personal lives, you don't spend money you don't have, the County Board should not be spending money it does no have. Wants need to be weighed against need.

2. The County Board Chairman, Tom Harris, used veiled threats of deeper layoffs if the union employees continue to insist on retaining their present health insurance (paid by the County). He further stated, "bankruptcy is not an option."

3. Board member, Terry Elliott, suggested the employees each take one day a week off, to keep others employed for an undisclosed amount of time.

4. The County Board chairman speak against a jail expansion, which would in time generate greater funds for the county.

5. The County Board chairman stated several times that he saw no way to stop the layoffs.

And then, the County Board voted to pay the expenses of the County Board chairman to go to Washington, D.C. in the hope of meeting with aids of legislators. Mr. Harris stated these meetings have not been a great deal of help for Mercer County in the past and this trip may not do any good either, but we need to try.

I believe the County Board missed the part about not spending money they do not have. Is the trip to Washington a need or a want? Is paying your employees a need or a want? If it is a need, then don't be spending your employees' money on your want.

Your actions may not be illegal, but are they moral or ethical?

Margaret Ann (Margie) Olson