Don’t borrow money before public plan

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The right time and the right place to invest taxpayer money into roadwork do exist, we’re sure. The Adams County Board of Supervisors just hasn’t found that sweet spot yet.

In 2011 — just before an election — the board took out a $2.4 million bond to finance roadwork. It looked suspicious, since several of the board members were in contentious re-election bids and paving roads is commonly recognized as the best way to legally buy votes.

Monday, the board agreed to borrow an additional $650,000 for roadwork.

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Maybe the board members — several of which are new to the board — wanted to borrow money sooner rather than later to avoid looking as suspicious as the previous group of elected leaders did.

But there’s a missing piece to the latest puzzle too.

The board has not — at least publicly — shared a list of what roads need to be paved and which of those roads will benefit from the $650,000 loan.

As it stands, they’ve simply gone to the Bank of Taxpayer and asked for a handout without sharing plans for the money’s use.

Publicizing a detailed list of needed roadwork, prioritizing that list and asking for public feedback should be a required step before borrowing money, not after.

Remember, it’s the taxpayers who will pay the interest, not the board.