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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mad Money for LAIC: City + County = $265,000

Dwaine Chapel just got his paycheck for the year, and then some. In the span of less than 24 hours, he won approval from the city of Madison $140,000 in taxpayer subsidy for the Lake Area Improvement Corporation. He also reminded the city of an earlier pledge to kick in an additional $100,000 to the Forward Madison fund this coming fiscal year.

Then yesterday morning, Chapel secured another $25,000 from the public coffers from the Lake County Commission. That may sound pittancy compared to the city's contribution, but consider that just a couple years ago, the county commission slashed its funding of the LAIC from $15,000 to $5,000. So we county residents have just quintupled our handout to the LAIC.

But I guess we have a very different group of county commissioners now than we did two years ago. And to emphasize that difference, consider that one of those new commissioners, Dan Bohl, tells KJAM the county should be giving even more to the LAIC.

$265,000. That's a lot of money to hand over to someone who doesn't have to answer to the public. Even if the LAIC just must do its work behind closed doors, I continue to wait for Madison and Lake County to impose some clear, objective performance standards (as the City of Pierre does) to guide its handouts to this secretive, unaccountable organization.

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