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I'm Sick and Tired
of being Sick and Tried
By Michael Fredrickson

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of General Manager Michael Fredrickson. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Names can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Welcome to the Party, Pal

Of politicians or any elected official that says or uses the phrase “Unfunded Mandate”. My first recollection of this handy little phrase was when hospitals started referring to the state and/or the federal government mandating that they take care of any and everybody that walks, rides, crawls, or is dragged into their emergency rooms - I guess in order to get state or federal medicaid funds they had to comply.

Now, if you get state, county, and city politicians in a room talking about upcoming legislation, every one of them will tell you the same “sob-unfunded-mandate-story.” Every one of them,-I promise you,-even your school superintendent. They will even whine about unfunded mandates that other politicians in the same room are mandating.

Well, I’ve got a phrase of my own... Welcome to the party pal.

In the next 10 years every city, or municipal utility district will be mandated to attain 30% of their water from non-ground water sources (usually surface water). What this means is that we will be paying two to three times more for our water.

Last time I checked, nobody was going to be making up the difference in my water bill (unfunded mandate).

Every year I get this little notice in my mailbox from the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District. It always informs me that my property values have increased. Even though no taxing authority has increased their tax rate, I am mandated to pay higher property taxes.

Again, no county commissioner, school board, city council member or anybody else has called me to help me make up the difference (unfunded mandate).

The next time you hear politicians whine about unfunded mandates hold on real tight to your wallet. What they are really saying is...we need more tax dollars because the next higher level of government is making us do something that they are not sending us the money to do.

Don’t listen to or accept that inane excuse. Tell them, “welcome to the party pal” and then ask them what they will be cutting from their budget in order to pay for that “mandate.” After all, isn’t that what we do in our own households when our expenses increase.


Michael Fredrickson is the General Manager of the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. He can be reached at michael@fortbendstar.com.

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   Last Update:  April 02, 2008