After reading County Clerk Kathy Michael’s Aug. 30 letter to the editor, I decided to listen to the Aug. 7 finance committee meeting audio which prompted its writing.
Surprisingly, I did not hear an attempt to “intimidate and embarrass” Michael. Rather, I heard our McLean County Board representatives calmly and respectfully ask for further information on how she plans to allocate our tax dollars. Michael recently told the media she needs $300,000 to $400,000 for the 2020 election. At the meeting, however, she could not explain how she came up with these numbers. Furthermore, she also projected an 80% to 85% turnout in the general election, even though the 2016 election had a turnout of just 74% and the average turnout is only 38%. At one point, she stated, “I think I always failed math in high school.”
Ultimately, Michael presented an inaccurate report and was unprepared to answer questions about it. She could not explain how new equipment will resolve her office’s chronic problem of unreasonably long voting wait times at the ISU Bone Student Center. She is paid $112,000 per year, and it is reasonable to expect that someone at her level be able to answer basic questions concerning a report they wrote. Michael’s defensiveness and her encouragement of private meetings rather than public conversations are antithetical to the transparency she promised during her recent election campaign.
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I encourage voters to listen to the audio from the meeting and decide for themselves if their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and transparently.
Alister Smith, Bloomington