Officials of the Hamilton County Young Republicans issued a statement hitting "a proposed discretionary slush fund for Hamilton County Commissioners."
Commissioner Warren Mackey has called for a vote on returning to a system in which each of the nine commissioners has $100,000 per year to provide to non-profit groups at their discretion. The move is opposed by County Mayor Jim Coppinger, who earlier led an effort to end the special fund.
The statement says, "We believe that now is not the time for less visibility and say in how your hard-earned tax dollars are spent.
This year has been a difficult for everyone. Many have lost much so far this year. Whether it be job security, personal security, health security, or something a simple as personal happiness, all of us have been affected.
"We’ve lost sports greats like Kobe Bryant and music legend Charlie Daniels. We’ve witnessed injustice on all sides as we continue as a nation to try to improve race relations and examine our own hearts. We’ve fought with a deadly pandemic the likes of which most of our population have never experienced. Therefore, we believe now is exactly the wrong time to be considering $100,000 discretionary funds for each county commissioner.
"James Madison rightly said, 'All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.' Good and transparent government is not a party issue; good and transparent government is an issue for every American. For those of us in Hamilton County the proposed reinstallment of six-figure commissioner discretionary funds represents the worst fiscal betrayal of trust between public servants and constituents. Because of closures due to COVID-19, the budget will necessarily be lower than it has been in a long time. Therefore, every dollar spent will be that much more important. Singular commissioners should not be allowed to pick winners and losers in the local economy. We must, as a constituency, get a say in how commissioners choose to spend our money. It is in these interests that we strongly reject the proposition of discretionary funds."