It was noted in the Butler city council meeting Tuesday night there might be some added aggravation coming with the nearly 3/4 million dollars the city is set to receive in stimulus money.
When it was first revealed that the city was going to receive just over $700,000 it appeared it would be a no strings attached, spend as you see fit type of deal, courtesy Uncle Sam.
Now add some interference at the state level, starting with Representative Cody Smith (R) of Carthage who believes there should be complete oversight in how the money is spent. The House Budget Committee met last week to hear HB 1356, sponsored by Smith that would create the Committee on Local Recovery Accountability and Transparency.
The committee may be formed and put in place whether HB 1356 passes or not. And by the way, there's at least one other committee out there with the same intentions.
Hmmmm.It gets even better:
In an open statement, Smith said "local governments are not used to dealing with a large influx of money and mistakes are bound to happen" which is a solid slap in the face. Insult might be a better term.
One more thing- this unneeded complication also costs money. Conveniently, there's no mention of exactly how the committee will be compensated; we're certain they’re not doing it pro bono. Logically, the costs will be recouped somewhere down the line.
Butler, like every other municipality can certainly put the money to good use without needing big brother looking over our shoulder. In fact, these committee folks could actually learn some things from us.
How about contacting your local representative and tell them we don't need this or any other committee's nose in our business; after all, those writing the checks aren't asking for oversight, why should anyone else?