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In this weeks edition:

A costly tribute…
Let me say first and foremost that I liked and respected President George HW Bush. I think he was a very honorable man who did what he felt was right for our country. Additionally he was a true patriot and didn’t embarrass us, which is more than I can say for some who have held that office.
With that said, I have to tell you that I though the closing of federal, state and county offices on Wednesday was wrong. It wasn’t wrong in the since of honor for former president Bush. It was wrong because there was very little notice, it was disruptive during a very busy time of the year and most of all; it was extremely costly to the taxpayers.
Of course everyone wants a day off with pay. I really don’t begrudge anyone of that luxury. However, if you look at the numbers they soon get astronomical. Let’s assume that with pay and benefits a common employee cost about $150 per day. For county employees such as the courthouse, deputies EMS, 9-1-1 etc. I imagine that is a low average. But for arguments sake these offices alone, just in this county, cost the taxpayers over $10,000 last Wednesday to give them a day off with pay.
Now let’s add in the school system and state offices. As you can see the amount adds up quickly. I’m certainly not a mathematician but I couldn’t comprehend how much that would cost on a federal level.
In addition, there was literally no notice. It was almost as if the current president closed federal offices as an afterthought. The governor and county officials followed suit, but the timing was terrible. I received notice after 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday that schools would close on Wednesday. That message came from the State, apparently the local school system was notified about the same time. The problem that such a late notice created was also problematic. Many had to figure out how to notify those who needed to know, provide child care, and still get the necessary jobs done.
I just think the honoring of a past president could have been done without closing down the entire country. President Bush as a honorable man who put this country first. I seriously doubt that he would have approved of the problems created by the untimely closure. I hope our leaders think things through the next time we loose a leader or public figure.

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