A group called, Voters for Fiscal Responsibility filed a petition last Friday at the Klamath County Clerk's office to recall Dennis Linthicum as county commissioner. Sherri Biggs of Malin Oregon filed the petition on behalf of the group. Voters for Fiscal Responsibility claim that they have become frustrated with all three commissioners and as soon as Tom Mallams and Jim Bellet are eligible for recall, a similar effort will be made on their behalf.
This effort seems like déjà vu all over again. In 2011 Chuck Collins filed a similar petition to recall Commissioners Switzer and Hukill. We wrote about that in the following two articles:
What makes this so familiar is that the action and the reason for the recall is the same, but we just have different actors involved. It is as if Ms. Biggs is channeling Mr. Collins.
Does the recall effort make sense?
In 2011, as well as now, we believe a recall effort for someone who will be up for election in less than a year is a complete waste of taxpayer money. According to the county clerk, such an election would cost the county about $50,000. For a group calling itself, "Voters for Fiscal Responsibility" we think this is rather ironic. They can't wait less than six months and then try to un-elect Linthicum? They have to do this November, instead of next May? Sounds to us more like a tantrum than a well thought out plan for how the county ought to spend taxpayer money.
However, what concerns us more than the timing of the recall is the particular reason for it. Notice that Ms. Biggs and Company don't want to recall Commissioner Linthicum because he has done something wrong, or because he is spending the county into bankruptcy. No their reason is because the Commissioners won't fund their particular pet programs: The Senior Center and the County Trapper. This is almost identical the to reason Chuck Collins gave — the Commissioners wouldn't fund his pet project (the county jail) to his satisfaction. At the time Collins worked for the Sheriff's department. Isn't it interesting that Ms. Biggs is a senior who also uses the county trapper to protect her sheep farm?
In other words, both had tantrums because their pet projects were not being funded. That is exactly the opposite of fiscal responsibility. Fiscally responsible commissioners know of no such thing as pet projects. Instead they make a wise use of limit funds for all county citizens, not just some. No clamoring for more money, no new taxes, bonds or levies,... just a wise use of what is available. That is fiscal responsibility.
This recall effort is silly and sad. If you are asked to sign, smile and politely say no — not to Ms. Biggs, but to the larger issue — public funding of pet projects.