Dear Fellow Concerned Taxpayer,
The following is an editorial I submitted to the Palm Beach Post, which they elected not to run, regarding the gross mismanagement and fleecing of taxpayers that is taking place at the Solid Waste Authority.
I encourage you to contact your County Commissioners and tell them you've had enough wasteful government spending and lack of oversight of our hard-earned tax dollars.
To: The Palm Beach Post
I think both Jennifer Sorentrue and Joel Engelhardt did a very good job of exposing the fleecing of taxpayers taking place at the Solid Waste Authority, but I am very dismayed that the issue seems to be fading away without anyone having been held accountable for this obvious waste of taxpayer money. I think a genuine, serious investigation of why bonds were issued to pay for a site we hadn't even chosen yet, and which we suddenly discovered we don't need, and why we're now paying $3 million per year in debt service for no good reason is certainly warranted.
A simple analogy: When you buy a house, you choose the house first, negotiate the price, and then get a mortgage. This deal did that backwards. Another real problem: the money can't be repaid for 10 years. Although SWA managers say they'll find other things to spend the money on, you would think they'll be under a lot of pressure to get it out quickly to avoid the further embarrassment of having those funds sitting around doing nothing. I find when people are under pressure to spend, they don't make the wisest decisions about what they spend on. $3 million a year in unnecessary debt service might not seem like a lot in the era of $1.5 trillion federal deficits, but it's real money and it's emblematic of the way government has been a poor steward of taxpayer money. We deserve a better explanation.
Last, the article quoted Commissioner Aaronson "I don't know why the bonds were purchased before we made a decision on the landfill. I think we purchased them prematurely." While the sentiment is correct, I would point out that the bonds were sold, not purchased. In most transactions I have been involved in, I find it really helps to know whether you're the buyer or the seller.