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Looking out for taxpayers

I'm thankful for the news you print regarding our council. I would like to share my view on a recent article regarding gaming dollars that go to the school.

In Ordinance No. 060402, adopted in June 2003, 30 percent of gaming revenue that Crawford County receives from Harrison County on an annual basis is to be used for the specific purpose of reducing the long-term debt of the school. The purpose of the disbursements is to serve and aid all taxpayers of the county through the reduction of long-term debt payments.

In my first term on the council, I noticed a pattern: every year there would be a request to spend this money for something else. It would be a good request with a good story. The kind of story that would make me feel like a butt to ask questions about it.

I believe (Crawford County Community School Corp. Superintendent) Dr. Eastridge is good at his job, and I told him I would like to have him on our board. The part I left out, to be on our board, he would be required to move to Crawford county and then he could help us pay for this very large debt. My point being, we don't always get the whole story.

I noticed in the article that 63 percent of the money did go to the debt. Sixty-three percent is a failing grade for the council and the school. I believe we can do better. I believe we must do better.

I will say I'm very proud of the council members that do research and look for the rest of the story. It's very hard to stand up and vote against councilmen who have served many terms. You feel like they should know what to do from past experience. I have been told before, you are right, but it's not worth the fight. May the good Lord help us to fight for what is right for the people of Crawford County.

If the extra million would have been applied to the debt, the taxpayers would have saved 5 percent interest, which would be $50,000. If the loan is a 20-year loan, 20 times $50,000, another $1 million saved in interest or $50,000 applied to a teacher's salary for 20 years.

This is my view only; not intended to hurt anyone, only help.

William E. Breeding, Crawford County Councilman
March 13, 2013

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