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Stop misuse of taxpayer funds

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When our elected supervisors use our taxpayer funds as a private slush fund to support their personal favorite charities, it’s bad enough. But because they potentially gain personally or have conflict of interest issues, it is also a flagrant misuse of taxpayer funds. The so-called “revenue-sharing” policies of Placer County need to be terminated permanently. Most citizens use personal funds to support their favorite charities. However, Placer County’s “revenue-sharing” policy gives each supervisor $20,000 of our tax money ($100,000 total!) to donate to their “pet” causes. The “feel-good” reasons (scholarships, help the homeless, needy, etc.) provide the smokescreen to discourage criticism. If supervisors think a cause is so great and deserving of donations, they should donate personally, the way the rest of us do. Too often, the county’s donation may help the supervisor’s political ambition at taxpayer expense or may be a blatant conflict of interest: Supervisor Robert Weygandt gave $250 of our tax money to Sportsmen’s Legacy Foundation (annual budget over $100,000). Now he requests $1,000 of our money for Lincoln’s Fourth of July celebration for fireworks. Supervisor Jim Holmes gave $200 of our tax dollars to support a Lions Club “charity” golf tournament and another $200 for Placer Breast Cancer Endowment Fund. Supervisor Kirk Uhler requested $200 last fiscal year to offset costs of a “Flea Affaire” for Sierra College Foundation ($4 million in assets). Our tax dollars go into coffers where there are no public audits of these events or controls as to how the money will be spent by the organization. There is no fair bidding process and no scrutiny as to how much the subcontractors will profit from the events. All these organizations may provide public benefit but they are competing for funds with many other just-as-valuable public benefit nonprofits. It’s time to put a halt to “revenue-sharing, a misuse of our tax dollars. Jake O’Rourke, Loomis