We write our bond issues generically, so that we spell out the key specifics, but we have got some latitude as to what we can do and what capital projects can be undertaken, because as you know, the capital needs vary...There is economic development dollars included in there, so the projects can vary, and they change.”- Luzerne County Chief of Budget and Finance Sam Diaz
From what I've been reading in the papers that shouldn't really not be allowed. Any bond issue is supposed to spell out what it is paying for with specifics about the project like what is going to be built and how much it will cost with an assurance that the project will outlive the bond. These guys keep borrowing more money without telling us upfront what it is supposed to be spent on. Remember that they borrowed $9 Million to build a new Juvie detention facility then later decided to go with a lease arrangement at an outrageous price that is being investigated by the state. Then instead of holding on to the money for the long pro missed new jail or just returning it they pissed it away on other projects. I'm sure someone can make a case for the projects that were funded but that's not what the money was borrowed for.
I just became aware that a ordinary citizen can object to such nonsense and one extraordinary citizen did just that. From the CV:
Wilkes-Barre gadfly Tim Grier on Monday drove to Harrisburg to lodge an official complaint to stop Luzerne County’s plan to borrow $80 million.
The deadline to file a complaint with the state Department of Community and Economic Development about the plan is today at the end of the business day in Harrisburg.Grier says the state should reject the county borrowing scheme because it violates the state Local Government Unit Debt Act. He complains the county would balance this year’s budget with “unfunded debt.” He said the county failed to give “a clear description” of construction and property projects that would be financed. He said the county also failed to obtain “realistic cost estimates” of those projects.
Gadfly? I expect better from Michael Buffer in the CV. I'm not sure what that even means but it doesn't sound complimentary. Tim did us all a favor by voicing his objections.
1 day ago