The Lake County Commission earns its pay today. The agenda (archived here) includes a whole whack of 2013 budget requests from county departments and outside agencies starting at 10:15 this morning and running past 3:20 this sultry afternoon.
The blog highlight of this meeting would usually be Robert Johnson's budget request for the Weed Department at 2:20. That is 4:20 Nova Scotia time.
But wait! Sandwiched between Deb Blanchette's budget request for the food pantry at 2:30 and Julie Wegener's request for our 911 communications at 3:00, we see the following item:
2:45 p.m. Jerry Johnson, Madison Steering Committee RE: proposed thrift store.
Whoa: Jerry Johnson and his pals are now steering Madison?! I guess they are abandoning their unpopular community thrift store plan and trying to drive the whole town!
If you look at the agenda, you'll see it's formatted to separate Johnson's appearance from the budget requests. I checked with County Auditor Bobbi Janke, and she said the thrift store item is not a budget request.
Commissioner Scott Pedersen sent a pretty strong signal last month that the county would take its cue from the city on whether to give Johnson's thrift store steering committee a $150,000 toward its million-dollar project. Given the steering commitee's tacit abandonment of its request for city funding last week, I'm guessing Johnson is coming to the county commission today to offer a similar "It was a bad idea that almost nobody liked but we're not going to admit it" update.
It would be a good idea to have citizens in the commission room this afternoon at 2:45 to make sure that's what Johnson says... and to remind the commissioners that there really is widespread opposition to spending any tax dollars on the "community" thrift store Johnson and his partners have proposed.