And indeed they should.

In it’s penchant for waste watch, the Sun Sentinel quizzed County Commissioner Dale Holness on rumors about his “spending” habits over having his office space redone.

Redoing office space for a newly elected public official is a tradition in most elected bodies.

Congress does it.  State Legislatures do it.  The School Board does it, and apparently so does the County Commission.

In each case, there’s a budget assigned to the task.

In the case of the School Board, it was $3,000 way back when.

Holness is to be complimented for spending essentially zero by scrounging the county for furniture already in storage.

Holness beat me by about $50.

In my case, I kept every stick of furniture used by my predecessor, Paul Eichner.

Board member staff spent the $50 on cheap document frames for all my diplomas and certificates of achievement to hang on my office walls.

And they’re still available at Walmart for just under $2 each, nine years later.

The real test of a public cheapskate will come with Holness’ spending on district needs.

The reality is that county facilities will always need replacement and repair money, much as district schools need.

When I was a Board member, I ran the leanest budget out of the seven district members.

I was even criticized by then Sunrise Mayor Steve Feren for “not spending enough.”

Considering that too many people still measure their success as elected officials by how much taxpayer money they’re bringing home to their district, maybe I just didn’t get it.

But considering all of today’s various budget crises, maybe they don’t.

As I mentioned, Commissioner Holness should be complimented for being a cheapskate, but the real test will be his spending over the next three years.

 

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