Ravalli County Republicans Confess Budget Incompetence

Ravalli County Commissioner Suzy Foss has written a tell-all opinion piece this week confessing the budget incompetence of the County Commission, all Republicans.

The Ravalli Republicans’ budget failures remind one of the fiasco created by GOP-ers in the Montana Legislature, who ginned up a fake budget crisis to undercut jobs and schools.  You’ll see what I mean when you read how Foss explains it.  She says the Ravalli Republicans:

“floundered our way through the budget process last year. With no guidelines other than “it has always been done this way,” we simply let our staff tell us when to be where and what to do next. Obviously there were big holes in that approach”

It seems the Commissioners were so uncertain about how to do their jobs that the GOP-ers thought it best to focusing on scrutinizing their own internal procedures.  Those of you who spent sleepless nights wondering what Ravalli County elected officials were up to can now rest assured. They were “creating documents” on such matters as taking minutes.  You’ll be pleased to learn that, in order to justify their paychecks, the Republican Commissioners plan to update these documents every year.


64 Comments on "Ravalli County Republicans Confess Budget Incompetence"

  1. earth haters on parade: rewild the West, fund Y2Y.

  2. Poor animals- this guy is so full of rage he can’t web keep it clean for his news interview. Not the temperament you want in some one making public policy.

  3. “how citizens can request information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)…”

    Ravalli County isnt subject to the Federal Freedom of Information Act.

    Per haps the Comissioner should become very fmailiar with the STATE public records law which is very wide and sweeping. There is no need to create policies, you follow the law or you get sued!

  4. Fake budget crisis???? What a load of BS. Why do you avert your eyes to the ever growing unfunded liabilities? There is this from 2010: http://montana.watchdog.org/2010/10/14/studylocal-pension-systems-add-to-unfunded-liabilities/
    Back then Montana had $3.3 billion in unfunded liabilities for nine state pension systems. This didn’t include local government pension liabilities. Now that number has only grown since that time. Seems any surpluses should be directed here before new spending to buy votes or pay off constituencies.

  5. Craig, as you well know, the budget crisis “ginned up” by the GOP last year was fake as the numbers have proven since the session. The unfunded pension system liabilities are equivical (sp?) in that they are based on an analysis that is counter to what is usually done and have many built in assumptions (such as the economic recovery) that have yet to play out. The two things are apples and oranges. The “crisis” the GOP tried to create had to do with their position that the revenues for the state were going to be far less than the numbers proposed by the administration and it turned out they were wrong. In short, they were trying to cash in on the nationwide panic at the time over the National Budget Crisis – another “crisis” that was – and is – vastly overplayed for political reasons.

    • Moorcat, I’ll for give you spelling if’n you forgive mine. :)

      As to my point, I don’t care about the limited view of “budget crisis” by the politicos. I do care about what’s real. Montana’s unfunded pension liabilities are actuarially determined using generally accepted actuarial principles. These numbers are revised on subsequent looks. And it is a real issue as Pew reports: http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/report_detail.aspx?id=56695

      States that ignored public sector retirement challenges now face a growing bill come due—one that may have significant consequences for taxpayers.

      Now Montana’s billions of unfunded pension liabilities doesn’t even include unfunded retiree health. See: http://leg.mt.gov/content/Publications/fiscal/Pensions/Pew-Report-Widening-Gap.pdf Look at Pew’s Exhibit 3 for FY 2009. Montana had 0% funded.

      We have to get away from the credit card lifestyle and put money away to pay the bills before new spending. Montana’s budget condition is better than most states, but that’s not much solace when considering what stares the state in the face.

      • You have never seen me correct someone’s spelling or grammer. My disgraphia ensures that I will never have decent spelling and my grammer is questionable most of the time. Sad because there was a time when I made a decent living writing. I LOVE spell and grammer checkers but I am too lazy to install one in my browser.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 23, 2012 5:40 PM at 5:40 PM |

          Moorcat, do what I do! I use the Lewis and Clark method of spelling. In other words, it just don’t matter! I never could spell worth a shyt, and I don’t care! You see, to me, spelling is a jyeant wayst of tyme! We should be fonetic anyway!

  6. That said, I am not attempting to say that there isn’t a national budget crisis and that it isn’t serious. It is. I am simply pointing out that the “crisis management” being proposed on both the State and National level is A) overplayed and counterproductive and B) given that the economy is driven by confidence, it does more harm than good in resolving the crisis. Anytime a politician discusses a “budget crisis” I am immedeately suspicious of both thier motives and conclusions.

    • And I am equally suspicious of both their motives and conclusions when then pretend not to seen the economic tsunami from unfunded liabilities pushed off the radar of concern for the future to solve. Montana has the money to address it. That’s where it should go.

      • Yes, and no. I agree that it is an issue that has to be addressed. Remember that I am living in Dillon. Not sure if you know it or not, but Dillon was sued over a similar issue in the not too distant past to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars – that had to be paid by the taxpayers.

        My point was not that the pensions don’t have to be funded. My point was that the budget has to be addressed (in all it’s forms and items) in a responcible and mature fashion. The “crisis” mode adopted by the last batch of Republicans, their hyperbolic rhetoric, and their many pleas to the public about how the sky is falling is counter productive. That kind of action on the National level cost investers (including retirement account holders like me) over 4 TRILLION dollars. This is not the way to run a railroad. The Rhetoric has to be scaled back, and cooler heads have to prevail. In the last session, that was the Democrats. We will see if the next session can produce members that can get the job done without the BS muddying the waters and without attempting to instill panic in the very people the State (and Nation) NEED to keep enthused and hopeful to generate the revenue to resolve the issue.

        • As I recall the Dems wanted to spend the surplus on jacking up state workers pay rather than apply it to unfunded liabilities. That does two things: 1. It creates a higher continuing spending level for following years, and 2. the base for pension calculation is increased further adding to the unfunded problem. I believe also Dems worked to defeat S484 which was an attempt by Joe Balyeat to cut unfunded liabilities.

          • ‘Jacking up’ a state worker’s pay has the same effect that jacking yours up would. It stimulates economy, encourages employment, increases state revenue and eases ‘the unfunded problem’. It’s going to get paid with tax dollars, either way. Unless … we follow the Balyeat plan and put the burden on the state employees while we have frozen their pay for 3 years.

          • I agree with Rob but I would also add a few things…

            I resent and completely disagree with your phasing that the Democrats wanted to “jackup” state workers pay. The fact is that (as Rob pointed out), State worker pay had been frozen for years and while their pay had been frozen, the cost of their benefits had increased – effectively lowering thier pay. It wasn’t a matter of “jacking up” anything. It was a matter of paying those workers a wage that was decreasing every year.

            The second thing is that you seem to subscribe to the same insanity that the GOP candidates did last night during their “debate”. I can’t remember which candidate said it first but all four were nodding their heads and clapping. The statement went something like this (I will ahve to try to google the actual statement) – “We need to move jobs to the private sector so tax payers have the jobs instead of people who take tax money”. Do you think (as they seem to…) that public sector workers aren’t also tax payers (and voters)?

            • I could have used a softer word, but the effect would be same as I described. Taking back 10%, if that in tax, for every dollar of pay increase doesn’t address the matter.

              I have no problem with private or public workers getting deserved pay raises provided that the needs of the business or govt employer prioritizes where to put the dollars. In my humble opinion, billions in unfunded liabilities come first.

              • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | February 24, 2012 1:40 AM at 1:40 AM |

                What nobody here wants to say honestly as a Neocon here on this blog, is our state is still very heavily making its Economics successfully thanks to the US government employees. Not to mention state workers as well! They want to continue the national Mantra of GOP sillyness that Government and education, plus medical services is Killing our way of life. I beg to differ!

                Prime example is the data for Montana from the Latest US census. The biggest occupational field fueling Montana’s Economy job-wise is: Educational services, and health care and social assistance. Thats right! The GOP wants to cut those jobs wages, cut funding for medical services, and screw with what is essentially the very base of Montanan solid earnings and wages! WHY???…. Because almost all of it is Union! So as far as the platform for the MTGOP they are willing to destroy and shrink the biggest part of american wages that make Montana grow!

                The second block of workers that adds to the state economy is Government workers which the GOP also want to cut! If it wasn’t for US and state workers we would essentially lose a fifth of the states revenue in taxes and buying power! Together both of all those indusrties I mentioned, take up a quarter of all the jobs in Montana. But the tea party and the GOP want to lose a quarter of this states economic growth??? What they need to do is grow up! Who do you think those people in the aforementioned groups will vote for???? Republicans? Bwahahahaha! I don’t think so!

                Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining is only 7% of this states workforce folks! This was never the top industry in Montana! But you couldn’t tell the Republicans that, any more then you could tell them they are hurting our best industries mentioned above!

                Trade is our biggest and best bet for the future in this state, and thats were our Gov. Brian Schweitzer knows a thing or two more then the GOP could put their fingers on reading simple Data! It is the fastest growing industry we have! Why do you think he is going to China for??? Talking to Russians? He’s taking this state to better markets around the world… and the GOP is more worried about contraception then money for our future!

                • “Neocon,” is that the best you got Norma dear to make an argument? I guess you told me. This comes after you emphatically stated you wouldn’t engage with me anymore. Beyond your blah,blah, blah… there is this: http://www.bigskybusiness.com/index.php/business/economy/2404-2012-montana-economic-outlook-state-projections-cloudy

                  Montana’s economic recovery “remains stuck at the starting gate,” reported Patrick M. Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Montana. The state’s economy actually slowed down in 2011 after having grown in 2010.

                  In fact, midway through the year, BBER had to alter their rather optimistic projection of growth for Montana, from a 2.6 percent increase in nonfarm earnings. The year came in at a “disappointing” 0.7 percent rate of growth, according to Barkey, during the Montana Economic Outlook Seminar, in Billings.

                  During the seminar, Barkey projected a 2 to 2.5 percent rate of growth for the state in 2012, saying there are “positive signals in the Montana economy.” The projection, considerably lower than pre-recession years, is the same for the next four years…

                  At least three factors played into the surprising slow-down for Montana in 2011.

                  —Inflation increased faster than anticipated, creating spikes in food and energy prices. Without the increase in inflation the state’s rate of growth would have been a full point higher, said Barkey.

                  —Several sectors of the state’s economy performed more weakly than anticipated. Federal government workers had declines in earnings larger than anticipated, due to the end of the Census-taking activities and a less active fire season. And, the health care industry had a “sluggish” growth, as health care providers dealt with higher regulatory compliance costs and lower demand for elective procedures.

                  —Also, the US economy did not perform as well as projected. It was revised downward “sharply” for the first half of the year, with overall economic growth just fractionally above zero. Nonresident spending faltered, too, as consumer spending remained weak.

                  The good news for Montana has been agriculture and other natural resource development, especially, energy.

                  With gas prices heading towards $5-$6 a gallon by summer, just what will that do to Montana’s economy? Best be VERY careful about committing to new spending and take care of retiring debts already on the books.

                  • Republicans are earth haters AND cons, Craig, Hun.

                    • No, Larry, they aren’t. Just as there is a wide range of ideology in the Democratic Party, there is also a wide range of ideology in the Republican Party. Neocons (a term more often than not used incorrectly) are just one small part of the Republican party. I would not classify Craig as a Neocon. He did not come from the left (most Neocons are people from the left that moved right) and Craig is hardly one to advocate a military solution to every problem. Those are the two things that usually denote someone as a Neocon. Look it up. There is a really good definition and history of the Neocon movement in the online Encyclopedia Brittanica.

                    • Rod: all Republicans are earth haters.

                    • Exactly who the F is “Rod”?

                    • Sorry, i misspoke, Rob.

                      To the person self-identifying as “Moorcat:” Keeping the Senate in Democratic hands is the prize…whatever it takes.

                    • I am the person “self identifying as Moorcat” – Kenneth Kailey, (yes, Rob’s brother) and repeating a statement does not add to it’s validity. Not all republicans are “Earth Haters” any more than all Democrats are commie hippy Environmental terrorists. That dog just won’t hunt.

                      And while I understand your desire to keep the Senate in Democrat hands (and it might surprise you that, at this point, I agree with you), it doesn’t excuse your hyperbole in your blanket characterization of Republicans. The Democratic party has more than it’s share of idiots, party hacks and undesirables.

                    • My point stands, Mr. Kailey: whatever it takes to make Montana a blue state in 2012.

                    • Let’s get this straight, right now. “Moorcat” is my older brother. His name is Kenneth. Whatever he identifies as, his identity is well known. Whatever he identifies as, he and I do not speak as one. We, very frankly, disagree with each other very often. He is conservative and I am not. Yet strangely, in the big circle of life, we find ourselves agreeing sometimes.

                      “Rod” is the derisive name that Tokarski uses for me, and to respond to my brother with such a name is to accept Tokarski’s delusion that we are the same person. We are not. That is well known. If you have accepted Tokarski’s claims of fact concerning us or people in general then I hope this display can nudge you to a better view. Yes, you may have “misspoke”, though I find it difficult to believe that fingers could be forced to type such a slip without intent.

                      Leaving defensiveness aside, my brother is correct. There are many conservatives who are not “earth haters”, though likely few Republicants. Still, those are the people we turn …

                    • Rob: i understood that your brother’s name was Rod, not Kenneth.

                      After the President is reelected and Montana is solid blue we will have a real party and the earth haters will gnash their teeth, then hopefully self-deport to South Dakota.

                    • Larry kurtz, so you would break laws and throw ethics out the window?

                      BTW, it is rather curious that when I pointed out that Dem Schweitzer called fellow DC Dems “jackasses” who blocked the XL pipeline project, you respond with attacking R’s as “earth haters.” How is that level of crass rhetoric useful to convince independents to vote blue? By the way the latest Q poll shows that a majority of voting Americans, 64-23 percent support the pipeline.

                    • What is important:

                      There are many conservatives who are not “earth haters”, though likely few Republicants. Still, those are the people we turn …

                    • and Larry, as to who the “earth haters” are, Cowgirl has this: http://mtcowgirl.com/2012/01/27/truth-v-lies-economic-facts-about-montana/

                      Under Democrats, Montana has developed more energy (wind, coal, oil, gas) than at any time in history. (http://www.innovatemontana.com/economic-development/economic-development-report/)

                  • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | February 26, 2012 2:30 PM at 2:30 PM |

                    Your Problem here Craig is you think I was speaking to you! I wasn’t! You didn’t even try to answer what I wrote too… you just deflected to something else entirely different in the economy to change the subject!

                    Republican, Neocons, Tea Party, Whatever you are calling yourself today, are trying to destroy Montana’s economy through legislative action… To dumb to see that almost half of all the people working in Montana are in Professions the GOP want to cut!

        • BTW, I see where Schweitzer is commenting about the pipeline. Montana’s surplus largely depends on oil and gas. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/montanas-governor-says-jackasses-delayed-keystone-but-pipeline-will-be-built-140179453.html

          HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s governor says the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oilsands to the Gulf Coast will eventually be built and he blames the delay on “jackasses” in Washington who have only recently discovered the issue.

          “Blah, blah, blah, Washington, D.C., politics. If you want to get something a) not done and b) cussed and discussed, send it to Washington, D.C.,” Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “It’s going to get built.

          “Ninety per cent of these jackasses that are complaining about the Keystone pipeline in Washington, D.C., one year ago wouldn’t have even known where the Keystone was. While we were doing the heavy lifting here in Montana and in South Dakota and in Kansas and Oklahoma … in Washington, D.C. … all these great defenders had never heard of Keystone before…”

          Schweitzer said Keystone runs through Montana more than it does any other state and would be a boon for oil producers. Oil activity in Montana and North Dakota has picked up, he said, but the oil has to be transported to its destinations by rail.

          “Rail is not safe, it’s not environmentally sound and it costs $20 to $30 a barrel more to get to market, so our producers are taking deep discounts because we don’t have pipeline capacity and we’ve negotiated that with TransCanada.”

          • The governor is just plowing the road for his junior senator, Craig, Hun: KXL is doomed.

            • “Fact: POTUS’ historic fuel efficiency stndrds, done w/o Congress, will save more oil than would flow thru Keystone pipeline in 45 years.” Jay Carney (EOP) ‏ @PressSec

            • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | February 24, 2012 1:53 AM at 1:53 AM |

              Ya it looks like it won’t run through Montana anyway Looks more and more like it will be built through the state next door, and thats not gonna hurt us, at all! We will garner more Permanent pertinent jobs to the Montana trucking and transportation industry, and in cleanup crews and operations, then we would having the pipeline anyway! East Indian steel pipes, Canadians crews, are already here, and have first call for jobs anyway! We would have been lucky to get a 100 jobs out of the deal with building it on our soil!

  7. Whatever it takes, Craig, Hun. The Supremes made it clear. Move to Amend.

    • So Larry, which laws should the Tester people break to bring about a blue result? Voter fraud? Wire fraud?

      Be first to start the list of “whatever it takes.”

  8. Everything is on the table, earth hater.

    • Larry, if pejorative abstractions are all you got for your “whatever it takes list,” then you are all hat and no cattle. Come on and tell us just what laws your fellow Dems like Tester’s campaign people should break to bring about blue nirvana. Just let it out.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 25, 2012 6:39 AM at 6:39 AM |

        Perjorative abstracions? Well, here’s some things that AREN’T so abstract!

        What are the five biggest lies in Montana?

        1. The wind never blows.
        2. My truck’s paid for.
        3. I was just helpin’ that sheep over the fence!

        4. Seriously, your honor, none of us were drunk on the boat that night!
        5. I wasn’t suing the Fire Dept., I was suing the city of Billings!

        BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Too funny. Add your OWN Dopey Reeburp lies! It’s fun and easy to do. The dude is a human humor factory!

        6. I had NOTHING to drink when I fell off that horse and insulted my hosts in Kyseekistan!

        7. I’m a real cowboy!

        Character counts. But what counts even MORE is LACK of character! Dopey is a slimeball. Always has been, always WILL be! Bottom line? Montana has a reputation of sending outstanding senators to D.C. Mansfield, Metcalf, Melcher, Tester.

        Whom did the Pubbies send? Cornhole Burns, Mini Barfus!

        We’ll return Jon because to do otherwise is to send a moron dumber than Ric Saintscrotum! It’s all about our traditional values, and good senators is our tradition!

  9. Governor Schweitzer is doing his job: getting the Matthew Koehlers into the voting booth is my mission, Craig, Hun. We can win with our own base if we get angry enough.

    • So you are saying breaking laws will get the Koehlers to vote? Huh. Guess what? They aren’t the independents that will decide the election.

      • Mr. Schweitzer can convert the center: 4% is all we need.

        • Really? Schweitzer can lead the independents around as if they were lockstep Dems? The bigger problem for Dems is getting your base to vote at all given how unpopular Obama is in Montana.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | February 25, 2012 6:32 AM at 6:32 AM |

            Really, Fr. Craigorio Mooron? O’Bama is the problem? BHWHAHAHAHAHAAAA! Oh come ON, Mooron. Just do it, dude. You KNOW that you want to, but you just don’t have the narlies for it. Just DO it! Use O’bama’s REAL name! You know, the real one that excites YOUR inbred racist base! No, I’m not talking about Hussein Obama, although that’s a good usage. I’m talking about Willy Horton Obama!

            Sheesh, you moorons a funny. BTW, if Obamacare is so bad, just WHERE is Dopeycare? BHWHAHHAAA! Yes, I’m laffing at you. Obama care might not be perfect, but it’s helped a whole lot of people already who wouldn’t have gotten coverage under non-exstent Dopeycare. And I just KNOW that you bozos are a’shittin’ in your boots now that SCHWEITZERcare is coming on line! And not a moment too soon!

            The guv’s last action in office will be to BRAND your dumbasses one last time on health care! A permenant brand! I mean, just stop and think about it for a minute. REAL health care reform withOUT the damnedable insurance industry screwin’ us over! Wow! Just wow! Pretty damn exciting I’d say. Yes, be afraid, very afraid, padre! First state workers in Helena. Then throughout the state. Then teachers! Then, public workers! Theny, EVERYbody who wants it!

            p.s. I know that you bozos are hopin’ like hell that enough inbreds have moved into Montana to turn the tide, but I’ll believe that when I see it, padre.

    • Larry, you are delusional if you think that all you need is “the base” to accomplish Montana turning blue. That dog won’t hunt either. Montana is a primarily conservative state. In fact, Montana Democrats like Schweitzer would be considered conservative Republican in quite a few states in the US.

      The mistake you are making is the same one the National Republicans are making. My limiting your focus and your rhetoric to just “the base” you disenfranchise those of us in the middle (or moderate conservatives like me that have already been disenfranchised by the Republicans). You REALLY don’t want to do that. It is already costing the Republicans. Some of them are wising up. You must have missed Jeb Bush’s speech today. He accused his own party of moving too far to the right and he is right. If more high profile members of the Republican party start doing the same, you very well may lose the current advantage you have with the moderate conservatives and the independants.

      You want to know why Schweitzer appeals to many in the middle? He tends to avoid the nasty partisan rhetoric bandied about by both sides. He is a showman – that was never in doubt, but he comes across as pragmatic, principaled and reasonable. Nothing about your recent posts (especially to craig) have even approached “reasonable”. Your constant inclusion of the “hun” thing is patronizing and displays an arrogance that isn’t backed up by your comments or what you add to the discussion. Even when I agree with you, I am having a really hard time going to bat for you point given the disdain and rancor you are displaying.

  10. Montana Democrats: get pissed or lose.

  11. Rehberg serially votes to gut EPA oversight.

  12. Wolves are essential to forest health; cattle and sheep essential to Republican coffers.

  13. Rewild the West.

  14. Remember: the next attorney general in Montana will be litigating lawsuits from downwind states. Fund your choice NOW!

  15. It would be nice if our congressman were in the news because he wrote an inportant bill or something besides being drunk


  16. meant important

  17. California petitions to protect wolves under ESA: Center for Biological Diversity.

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