"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Monday, August 31st, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
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Keeping Houston County citizens informed and involved


By Justin Zmyewski

Mon, Aug 10th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

A series of monetary decisions leave Houston County tax payers vulnerable...

Houston County has increased taxes by over $5 million in the last 10 years, most of that in what is considered the recession years.

The county’s general fund (savings account) has been depleted by close to a million dollars since 2005. The county savings account is being used up at a rate of approximately $150,000 a year. The general fund is being used and has been used to cover budget shortfalls.

The Wheelage tax that was implemented without my support in 2013, although not collected as a property tax, is the equivalent of nearly a 2% tax increase each year ($196,000). The Wheelage tax is now part of the Highway Department budget.

The initial cost of the Justice Center, which houses an 80 bed jail, of which only a fraction of those beds have been needed, was $18,030,000 plus $8,580,790 in interest. The total cost to tax payers is just shy of $27 million. The Justice Center will not be paid off until 2031.

The current board, without my vote, increased taxes in 2014 by 3.52% ($385,000), which was more than double the state average. In 2015 the current board increased taxes by 4% without my vote.

If past history repeats itself, it would mean a 3.73% tax increase for 2016, which would equate to a 1.13 million dollar tax increase from 2014 – 2016 under the watch of the sitting board.

On the heels of a $27 million Justice Center that won’t be paid for until 2031, Commissioners Schuldt, Storlie, and Walter (3 of the 5 commissioners) are supporting a Highway Department proposal to construct a multi–million dollar Highway Department Complex, a proposal that mirrors the overbuilding of the Justice Center, allowing the possibility for history to repeat itself yet again.

Our broken system

Mon, Aug 10th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Former Congressmen Martin Frost (D) and Tom Davis (R) have authored the book, The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis. Both men consider themselves to be moderate, an endangered species in Washington. The book looks at the roots of the dysfunction t ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Immigration

Mon, Aug 3rd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

About 10 years ago, I was attending a weekly Rotary Club meeting in La Porte, Ind., and the guest speaker was a professor from Purdue University speaking on the subject of immigration. He opened with, “Did you know that immigrants are more likel ..... 
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The shame of poetic truth

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Mon, Aug 3rd, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

To me, the fallacies of liberalism are self-evident. Well, okay I’m giving myself too much credit. Books by Tom Sowell, Fredrick Douglas, Cora Daniels, Milton Friedman, Walter Williams, and others have provided many opportunities for the “clue ..... 
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What’s happening on our hills?

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been working on the bluffs around Rushford for many years. With the recent restoration effort on the bluff off Money Creek Road, and addition of goats to our other bluffs, there have been rumors abou ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Race Relations

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

What does the Confederate Flag represent to you? That’s the question we posed in last week’s reader poll. Is it a part of American history? Does it relate to slavery and racism? Is it a symbol of freedom? Has this whole thing been blown ..... 
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Contemplating death

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

First there are birthday parties. Then come graduations and weddings followed by baby showers. Now I find funerals crowd my calendar. Death is a shadow that hovers over us, now and then blocking out the sun. I am not good at coping with death. ..... 
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On a clear day I can seethe forever

Mon, Jul 20th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Commuting is a way of life for folks in Southeastern Minnesota: whether it’s five miles or fifty, most of us drive to work. Now, as someone who spent his college years in Chicagoland, I can tell you that a fifty minute commute here in Bluff Countr ..... 
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A bad idea, retention elections for supremes

Mon, Jul 13th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Two back to back controversial rulings of the United States Supreme Court in late June sent some conservatives into a tizzy. The court by a 6-3 decision upheld subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and the next day in a 5-4 decision same-sex marriag ..... 
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