Letters to the editor

Dear editor, First of all, I would like to say that I was shocked and disappointed at the decision of Mr. Painter to discontinue his auditing of Presidio County. I understand some of his concerns based on past experiences, but those things occurred before our current Treasurer and Auditor were in place. I have every confidence in these ladies, and I don’t believe that they will allow the County to fail. I’m not sure where he got his information, but he is incorrect in saying that we are hiring someone new to do grants, the person we hire will be a support to the current financial teams in offsetting the added duties, that is all. If you look back, you’ll see that there was never any implication that we would not hire another person to offset some of the duties that were being transferred to the remaining financial offices. In fact, I really anticipated that the former assistant to the OMB would fill that position. He also stated that the reconciliations are not being done on time, they are in fact current thanks to our County Treasurer’s Office. I’d also like to address Mr. Buddy Knight’s letter. We may not have been prepared to redistribute the duties of the OMB right away, as we never anticipated that the ladies who worked in the OMB would leave so suddenly. However, they both went to other jobs within a couple of days from us having made the decision to abolish the department, and we took action on the distribution of those duties at the Commissioners Court Meeting of September 11, 2018. The closing of the department was in fact a money saving decision worth over $109,000 to the County. The money that we will likely use to hire a new employee, is money that has been in the budget for years. It continues to be budgeted and is not a new expense as far as our budget is concerned. We may need a full-time clerical person, but we don’t need an entire department for that. There is a chance that we may have to budget some money to cover overages in benefits, but we still stand to shave off more than $106,000 by cutting the OMB Department out of the budget, money that could potentially be used for other necessary expenses. That’s huge! Our Auditor is in place via the District Judge and thank God he had the foresight to send us such a fantastic and knowledgeable person. She is such a vital and important part of our financial team. Believe me when I say that she is more than capable. Only the District Judge can decide to eliminate that department, and as far as I can tell, he is not inclined to do so at this time. Had he not put that position in place, then perhaps OMB would have been a necessary department. Is it possible that we could have made a poor decision in the abolishment of the OMB Department? It’s possible, but only time will tell. If that happens, I will admit that it was wrong and make any decision necessary to rectify it and get us back on track. What we need to do now is accept the fact that the decision has been made and work together to ensure that we do everything in our power to make it successful. We all want to succeed, sometimes that means trial and error. I believe in the decision that we made as a Court and continue to stand by it. I have faith that it will work out and be successful. Allow us to try. Quit trying to find reasons and ways to make sure we fail. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”-Henry Ford. Let’s help each other up. The more successful we are, that’s success for all of us. Isn’t that what we are here to do? To create a successful government for the betterment of our people. It is only in working together that we will achieve the most outstanding results. Support the vision, not the division. Proudly serving Presidio County,

Brenda Silva Bentley Presidio County Commissioner Precinct 1 Marfa

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Dear editor, “Alternative facts” are a “déjà” that won’t quit “vuing” under Donald Trump. He and son, Don junior are pushing the lie that the recovery is due to Trump’s policies. Here’s the truth: The recovery started under Obama, there’s been 95 months of steady recovery since the great recession and Trump has been in office only 19 months. Furthermore, the effect of public policies like large tax cuts favoring the wealthy and corporations won’t be seen for many months in the future. One bad outcome we’ve already seen is a huge increase in the national debt with annual deficits exceeding $1 TRILLION! Here’s another. The Census Bureau put out and media gobbled up the myth that “middle class incomes are growing because the median household income rose to $61,372. The MEDIAN household income doesn’t really address the middle class. It simply means 50% of the households earned that amount OR LESS while 50% earned more. Second, buried in their explanation was the information that many households reached that income by the single earner taking 2 jobs or a 2nd earner working. None of this really means that Americans in the middle-income range are better off. And another. Republicans present growth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as the only indicator of economic growth. It’ not. GDP is what was spent. It’s steadily grown for some time and not always for good reasons. If prices or population rise it boosts GDP. If more people went to the doctor because they now got insurance (finally) it rises. And in fact, things like natural disasters, even more accidents drive up spending and thus GDP. The real measure of economic health is the gap between the well-to-do and the rest of us, sometimes referred to as income and wealth inequality. The US has the largest gap in the world and it is growing wider under Republican policies.

Mary Bell Lockhart Alpine