County chaos | Arkansas Blog

County chaos

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Maybe by tomorrow the D-G will pick up Pulaski County Clerk Pat O'Brien's letter to County Judge Buddy Villines. O'Brien is not a happy camper. The deficit-spending, jail-ruining county government has done it again -- underestimated revenue for 2006 by $5.5 million. That means somebody has to suffer in 2007 with cuts to balance the budget.

O'Brien says it won't be him. He's taken a cut in general budget support, sent free money from his revenue to the county and otherwise been a good trooper. Excerpt from his letter:

"...I want to make it crystal clear that our office will not be offering any cuts to our 2007 budget. Second, Pulaski County government has been plagued with money issues during my tenure of two years. When employees reed about the county having trouble paying its bills it has a huge impact on our recruiting and retention. It feels as though a new bomb is dropped every month by county administration and this is something that needs to stop. ..."

O'Brien's letter goes on for almost six pages, into the county's failure to pay taxes on time and the fruitlessness of appointing another committee, as comptroller Ron Quillin has suggested, because he has no confidence in Quillin's leadership.

O'Brien says, too, that the county jail situation must be solved. Until it is, "none of the other entities of county government will be able to go about our business." He said it was hard to quarrel with voters who opposed a sales tax for the jail on account of lack of confidence in county government.

Said O'Brien:

"In summation, no one elected me to oversee the county's finances, the county jail or the comptroller's office. Yet, I would say that I spend at least one-third of my time dealing with issues that originate from one of these areas. I remain hopeful that the ship will be turned around."

We'd say, "Abandon hope all ye who enter the Pulaski County Courthouse."

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