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Article published February 19, 2013
Larry Kriess Patricia L. Kriess Summit Township
Butler County’s Republican commissioners are passing out pay raises like candy. Maybe there is a money-printing press in the government building that we the taxpayers don’t know about. The previous Republican-controlled board of commissioners gave a pay raise to one person of more than 20 percent. When someone is hired, he or she knows the details of the pay and benefits. In private business, the manager doesn’t get up one day and tell an employee that he or she is being underpaid and will receive a 20 percent pay raise. Both current Republican commissioners — one of whom was on the previous board — formerly were business persons. We doubt that either of them ever gave an employee a 20 percent raise. However, we have another person who has gotten a significant raise. She went from being Commissioner Dale Pinkerton’s secretary at about $40,000 a year to more than $85,500 when she moved to another position. We need a shake-up in the commissioners office and it’s not Commissioner Jim Eckstein. Now the Republican commissioners want to build a new building next to the Government Center. Initially, they said the building would cost $10 million. Now, the price is being quoted as at least $14 million. They said the new building would not require a tax increase. However, the county’s 2013 budget required a tax hike. The Republican commissioners wanted a 2-mill increase — an increase opposed by Eckstein. The commissioners agreed eventually on a 1-mill increase. The problem with all the lawsuits and people retiring is that those people were not used to someone questioning everything. In the past, things were just rubber-stamped. There was no accountability about costs and the number of people going out of town for conferences, conventions, etc. Those so-called Democrats going to the commissioners meetings and calling Eckstein names just show how stupid their actions are. Those individuals are still angry over their candidate losing the 2011 election to Eckstein. It’s time they get over it. One other thing we want other Democrats to know is that this same group of Democrats does not speak for all the other Democrats in Butler County. The individuals in question make it seem as if they are speaking for every Democrat here. However, that is far from the truth.