It's been a month since I've written a column as we have been busy going to doctors and enjoying the good old "golden" years. We keep hoping for a pattern change.
I've had several folks ask me what I was going to take on next and to be honest, I had nothing particular in mind until the last couple of days. It doesn't seem like one level of government is better than the other. But let's start with the local. I had several folks comment about my last article, liking what they read. Yes, the Hohbachs can pay $25 to $30 a month if need be for a new jail. It's a question whether we like the idea.
I still would like to see one of those buildings used for a new purpose at the MHI grounds but I do recognize the fact that sometime remodeling an old building can be more expensive than building a new one. I still think I'd do that as one would have a building that would go on for more years than any of us would be around. Perhaps there is a grant for helping with the project.
Yet, I know the new building is going to the voters and safety can be a strong factor for building a new facility. At least locally they have made definite plans where at the state level, it sounds like the warden will come up with blueprints for so much money. Lawmakers don't seem to care how the money will be spent for a new prison.
But while we are at it, perhaps we ought to take a look at the future. Our state law makers haven't done a very good job at doing that and sit on their hands while party leaders decide what to put their energy into. Our supervisors want to keep our county services within the county as most folks probably would like. But in reality, if we would be truly honest, the state as a whole can not afford it.
Counties with large cities, large population, or county seats will keep their courthouses. But smaller counties like Cherokee, Ida, Pocahontas and the like, may not. Towns like Storm Lake, Spencer, Orange City and LeMars will keep them. When 99 counties were set up, the mode of transportation and communication was quite limited. Not so today. Our rural populations are dropping faster than we'd all like to admit. I'n sure that county mergers should be on the agenda for saving counties money with a reduced labor cost by having one department head. It's nothing to drive to a neighboring county. Besides, one can mail any kind of tax payments in. How many of us go to court every year? Merging some of these 99 counties is an idea that should come about.
The same thing happens when school districts merged. Communities had dwindled in school population and there was no choice. It was a bitter pill to swallow when small community activities center around the schools. Right now, there are many signs that another round of district mergers will be coming about. It's inevitable. Kids have little problems with these changes, it's the adults who can't control their feelings. There is less financial support coming from the state treasury.
Why bring this up? To recognize the fact that larger units of whatever is being talked about, schools or courthouses, will be the one to stay open and served the people surrounding them.
On another matter, the news just seems to get more ridiculous each day. Last week I heard that Chrysler wants to close a plant in Wisconsin and ship the jobs to Mexico. I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. Man, if I was President, I'd tell them immediately to sell what they have if need be to pay the taxpayers back.
Furthermore, I'd then think we don't need that car company and they can vanish. Jobs to Mexico don't support those workers. Our enemies must really have the jokes about us. Talk about not being worthy of respect. Chrysler can drop dead.