Right now, the County is facing a $1,000 per day fine from the NBMA for failing to do a damn thing since that 2001 agreement. Stoffa had engineers on hand to present Council with four options, all of which are expensive. He hopes to fund it with energy savings generated by switching from oil to gas at the nursing home.
Unfortunately, there are 54 other capital improvements needed at Gracedale, too, meaning that a bond is all bit a certainty.
At Thursday's Council meeting, Lamont McClure introduced a motion to take the money needed for $13 million worth of projects out of the fund balance, which failed 7 to 2. The only Council member willing to join McClure was Ann McHale.
In 2010, McClure failed to attend a single Council Committee meeting. His absence has continued this year, too. Had McClure attended June's finance committee meeting and listened to LarsonAllen, the County's independent auditor, he'd know that there's only $16 million in the County's general fund undesignated balance, which represents 18% (or two months) of general fund expenditures. McClure's motion would leave the County with just $3 million to pay the bills, a recklessly low sum.
Instead of providing Stoffa with a little guidance about Gracedale, McClure chose to pander to the voters with a motion he knew would fail. When Ron Angle noted McClure's abysmal attendance record, he had no shame. "You keep going to Committee meetings, and I'll keep coming up with solutions," he snarked.
But that was no solution. It was instead a fiscally irresponsible maneuver, made solely for the purpose of getting a few votes. He was elected to represent his district, and can't do that if he's not there.