Student’s view of the County Board

The below is written by my 15 year old intern.  I had her listen to the County Board discussion of an amendment that would have prevented a property tax increase.  This is what she thought of the discussion.


By:  Sarah Welander

In a McLean County Board meeting on November 17, there was an amendment proposed by Erickson to reduce general property tax and move that money to a unappropriated fund. His main reason for this was to send a message to places such as the health department. Before I say what I think, I will quickly recap what happened.

Buchanan starts off the conversation with saying that everyone of these departments is needing more, and then cracks a joke saying that there must be something in the water that he stopped drinking to make these people think that these places can take a cut in funds. Soeldner takes the conversation then and says that this is going to negatively affect the future because the state is going to cut the amount of funding that they are receiving. Harris says that she “reluctantly supports” this amendment, but changes can be made as needed. From there everyone just reiterates what had already been said. Then McInyre praises the budget and the people who created it like he was giving a speech at the Oscars.

After round one is done Buchanan comes back with saying that transport needs more money and that this amendment is going in the wrong direction. Then, people go on reiterating what has been previously said. Schafer then speaks of having the fear that this will end up with 11th hour changes, and then Cavallini says he is afraid of not 11th hour changes, but 12th hour changes. From there, they take a vote and the amendment ends up failing.

So my first thought from listening to this meeting was that these people really liked to hear themselves talk. Only a few people had new things to say after a while.

None of the places that would have been impacted by this would have been crippled. They would still have enough money to run. Also, there would have to be no raise in taxes. To me, not having to raise taxes sounds like a pretty good thing. If something was to go wrong and there needed to be a change, they can change it. If the state ended up not properly funding them as promised, there could be a change.


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