Just Give It To Us Straight

We’re big boys and girls, we can handle it.

Last night a County Board member, from District 3, asserted in front of the DGTRO folks in attendance that DuPage County had reduced it’s spending by $45 million dollars. This struck me as an odd statement, so I looked it up.

In 2005 the Total Appropriation for DuPage County was $608,910,218. In 2010 the Total Appropriation was $689,093,552. That’s a net increase $80,183,334, a 16.4% increase that out-stripped the chained CPI for the same six year period of 12.5% (BLS’s table HERE). You can access Consolidated Annual Financial Reports HERE to verify it for yourself. CAFR’s are useful things; uniform reports filed at the State that allow for apples to apples comparos of results. Budgets are intentions, CAFR’s are results. CAFR’s make it hard to hide promises and boasts that aren’t true.

Credit where credit is due: the efforts to hold the line on taxes at the County level have worked better than any other level of govt. They’ve plenty of good things they can accurately report on.

Accuracy. One of the continuing items that nags at supporters of either political party is a basic lack of accuracy by our elected officials. It feeds suspicion that either a) they are not in command of basic facts, b) they don’t understand the difference between things like cuts, savings, and spending reductions, or c) they’re liars. I doubt that County Board member is a liar.

It’s not just DGTRO members at a monthly meeting that deserve the unvarnished truth when we’re getting supposedly reliable information from our elected officials, all residents deserve it all the time. Accurate information is paramount. Continuing the norm of blowing smoke up our figurative skirts doesn’t accomplish that.

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