The Herald Bulletin

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Letters

February 8, 2014

Viewpoint: Elwood's Christmas lights expenditure too extravagant

With the Indiana State Board of Accounts' scathing review of Mr. Arnolds' spending during the first year of 2012, wait till they see 2013. Get the Rolaids ready.

I was informed that the lights that lit up one block of Anderson Street in Elwood cost the taxpayers close to $100,000. If so, then I suggest insanity prevails in our city government, starting with the mayor's office. The breakdown is approximately $40,000 for the lights, another $40,000 for a new truck purchase for helping put up the lights, payroll for different people from Water, to Street, to Maintenance (some did volunteer their time), plus additional rental items and equipment, equaling out to around $100,000.

Who authorized this and or allowed this to come to fruition? The mayor, the Board of Works, the council, city attorney? Who will stand up and take responsibility for lighting up one block of buildings that you can easily count on both hand, (not counting all the vacant ones that were lit up!) Doesn't that come to about $10,000 a building? It's criminal. Rationalizing this expenditure by suggesting it creates evening traffic that in turn generates money for these small business (of which 95 percent of them are not open in the evening — except a pizza parlor and a bar) is an insult to the citizens of Elwood. One would be better off writing out a check for $1,000 to each business and save $90,000. Or, you could have purchased the old Eagles building and put in an after-school activities center for our youth and have $30,000 left over to purchase the needed items to run the center. Wouldn't it make more sense to invest in our youth than put money toward seasonal decorations?

How could anybody in their right mind think that Elwood could afford such an obscene purchase, let alone want it? When I saw the display I wasn't sure we were celebrating Christmas or the Las Vegas strip.

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