Your Nov. 3 article, “Striking it rich in Washington,” disclosed a factor that I found appalling. Washington County’s projected $78.8 million budget for 2014 is 40.7 percent higher than the 2007 budget of $56 million. During that time, our country has experienced a severe recession, low or no inflation, reduced interest rates and severe unemployment. Our economy has declined dramatically, while Washington County’s spending requirements reflect the opposite.
I am curious as to the major causal factors. Could they be increases in fixed costs, such as the number of employees, compensation for them and the cost of fringe benefits, including retirement and medical coverage?
Considering the current property reassessment project, will budget constraints be in place or will the unacceptable growth rate prevail?
Clarence M. Spicer