During these financial troubling times we all have had to tighten our belts.

I, for one, do not support new taxes unless I know exactly where my money is going. I did and still support any proposed tax levy that will keep the Columbia County Sheriff's Office functioning.

I'm not going to get in a debate about the Sheriff's Office budget or lack of budget. It's more than just an issue about the Sheriff's Office.

The big question is: Where are our tax dollars going?

During these troubling times, is it necessary to run and operate the Columbia County Rider? Taxpayers, ask yourself a question the next time you see the Columbia Rider. How many people actually use it? I rarely see more then one or two people on board.

The Columbia County Rider is not a necessity.

Is it just a pet project of our commissioners? Something they can put their stamp on?

How many emergency operations center operators do we have?

The last I heard it was three. Is this true? Why three? How often do we really have a disaster in Columbia County? Is it true that EOC is partially funded by grants? Why not do away with the other two positions.

How are you going to attract businesses to Columbia County?

I live within the city limits of Rainier. I will never move out to the county. Why would a business want to move to Columbia County? If I see wasted tax dollars, don't you think prospective businesses see the same.

We need safety in Columbia County and our cities.

From what I hear, commissioners, you have had talks about cities covering parts of the county because of the lack of resources at the Sheriff's Office. As someone who lives in the city, I do not want the city police covering county calls because that will take resources away from the Rainier Police Department.

Is this true? I'm sure the people living inside city limits would not support this.

- Troy Caldwell, Rainier

[Editor's note: Mr. Caldwell is a deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.]

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