During the recent State of the City address by Mayor Milo, it was stated that technology and life are moving at an ever increasing pace. This is very true. I honestly believe that the Mayor and the City Council are doing a good job of helping the City move forward. That statement about technology, in my opinion, has a flaw. This flaw should and must be addressed by all levels of government. That flaw is that with technology also comes efficiency in how things are done. The use of technology has shown private business that through its use, things can be done cheaper, better and with less human contact.
With this being said, why do the taxpayers continually buy technology to increase the efficiency of our government, yet the numbers of government workers continue to grow? If this technology is so desperately needed, then why has it not helped save the taxpayer money? That should be the goal of every elected official from local to state all the way up to the federal level. Now, no one wants to throw people into the streets, so to speak, but every year someone retires, quits or is fired (and no, there is no such thing as wrongful discharge; you serve at the whim of your boss, period), they always seem to hire more. Why is it so hard to try getting by with less?
If these changes cannot be done in a way to save the taxpayer money, then possibly we should look into privatization of some of our government services. Private business always looks at ways to improve its profits through better efficiency and structuring of its staff and services or products. They have discovered that if a job that used to require 4 people can be done efficiently with 2 through the use of technology, then they do it. We as taxpayers should demand this from all of our elected public servants. There is a prime example of how this can be done in the Kernan-Shepperd Report. This was a bipartisan study done during Governor Daniels’ administration. Our local government has not been updated since the days preceding the Civil War. That is over 150 years ago. I urge all taxpayers to obtain a copy of this report. It is only about 40 pages and written in very understandable terms. Then contact your state reps and senators to demand that this be put on the ballot at the next available time. Study this on your own. The elected powers have every reason to call it foolish. It would drastically reduce the number of government workers, which in return would substantially reduce the power and control these few people have on all taxpayers’ wallets.
One more item to address concerning private business: The hospital in LaPorte is now a private, for-profit business. The former Mayor and former county attorney, nor any private citizens, have the right to tell any private business how to operate. That is up to the board of directors. Now, as citizens, they have the right to voice their opinions, but to demand things from any business is wrong. This attitude towards business, in my opinion, is what is holding our county back. If you want businesses to come here and provide jobs, then they must be allowed to conduct their business. The local community must also be able to supply a drug-free, motivated and work ethic-driven workforce to take the jobs.
Steve Holifield, overtaxed taxpayer and local businessman