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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Howler of the Week: County Supports Library

Maybe Madison Mayor Gene Hexom was just trying to put a happy face on things. But sometimes, even our good-hearted mayor stretches the truth a bit.

In Monday's Madison Daily Leader, Mayor Hexom responded to a question about the state of city-county cooperation by offering MDL's roving reporter Elisa Sand "numerous examples where the agencies work together." Hexom cited, among other things, Lake County's support of the Madison Public Library.

Mayor Hexom's statement is technically correct... or at least it was in 2007, when the county commission authorized $800 for Culture and Recreation.

$800. Out of a $4.3 million county budget. Out of a $380,000 operating budget for the library. $800—that's 0.2% of the library's budget.

To say the county cooperates with the city on the library is like saying I work for Amert Construction because I once held the door for Don when he walked out of the lumberyard with a sack of nails.

I appreciate Mayor Hexom's ability to put a happy face on even the smallest of good things in our community. Perhaps our new county commissioners will give Mayor Hexom something much more substantial to crow about by fostering more practical cooperation between our governing agencies.


  1. Didn't the City get a free ride on 911 services up until a couple of years ago?

  2. The back and forth bickering between City and County needs to end in January when fresh faces take control at the County. Hopefully, the County will see the light, implement a stronger wheel tax to help with roads and potentially opt out for more money so they can do what needs to be done in Lake County.

  3. The county currently has the wheel tax at the highest rate possible, unless legislation changes.

    And, county funding for the Public Library has increased. In 2008 and now in 2009 county funds toward the public library are $2,200 -- not a lot, considering the overall library budget, but consider this -- the library requested $3,000 from the county for 2009.


  4. Anon #2 says opt out. I hope the new faces don't see that as an automatic preferred option. What about instead living within the available monies? Face it, from now for quite awhile in the future we can't have all the perks we used to have at gov't expense, be it federal, state, county, city, whatever. Focus on the absolute necessities, and shelve the perks. That's what people are individually having to do now and for the next umpteen years probably.


  5. Anonymous 9:18
    History tells me that the county "wanted" the 911 service. It was their decision to take it over. Why would the city offer to pay if the county wanted it so bad? The city was doing fine with their own dispatch through the police department.
    Brookings city provides 911 for their county. Do they get a subsidy from the county for that?

  6. I think one reason and not the only reason the county took over the 911 services was because the county was not included in the cities 911 basic service. So it only makes sense since the city was not interested in providing services to all of lake county,,,, that the commission stepped up to provide that service to all residents.

  7. 10:07 As I recall, the County recognized it needed and I think was required to upgrade an old system. The county received a top notch system which for years the county paid for and ran with vitually no contributions from the city, even though the city generated about 80 percent of the calls. Compared to the new system, the system the City had and was going to go back to like calling up Sarah and asking her to see about putting Sheriff Taylor on the line. Small counties with one larger seat seem to always have some of this territorial squabbling, and I'm not saying the county hasn't had a role as well. Hopefully the new commission will remember it represents the entire county, not just the center.

  8. Well said anonymous.........

  9. We kind of got off the Library issue, but since we're all giddy about 911 service, don't forget the charge of 75-cents you pay every month on EVERY phone you use. When you add up the number of phones paying 75-cents extra, even if the City didn't participate in 911, the entire city population certainly paid it along with our rural population, and we're still paying every month. That's another cost that will likely increase if we're not already at the max like the wheel tax.

  10. Be careful Cory. Someone will figure out that we can save $380,000 by closing the library and then the city could sell the property to a developer for apartments.

  11. Annon 11-13-08 10:07 Brookings County does pay the City of Brookings for 911 services. I agree if the county wanted it so bad then take care of it, but if memory serves me correctly, somebody at the court house talked people into it and they got it.


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