Your Views: By accepting raises, Sheriff Spoden ignored Rock County taxpayers

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I’m a longtime Rock County resident and a retiree. I’ve witnessed challenges our county faced since General Motors left. Reports suggest the national economy is recovering. I haven’t seen that recovery in our local or state economy. The state has reduced shared revenue to cities and counties. Unemployment remains very high. Families are struggling even if they work full time. People are more productive. Raises aren’t keeping up with productivity. Employees aren’t even close to getting ahead. Most are one paycheck from tragedy.

Given the economy, I was disappointed in Sheriff Robert Spoden’s response to accepting a 13.9 percent raise across four years. He stated something about it being disrespectful to the county board to not take the money. What he doesn’t say is that he was part of getting raises. Meeting minutes show he was asked to provide supporting documentation. He didn’t suggest his salary be frozen for the time being or compensation reduced. He demonstrated no concern for taxpayers.

Some other elected officials in Rock County have taken reduced raises. Teachers in Beloit and Janesville are getting around 1.46 percent yearly raises. The Beloit School District let janitorial and tech staff go and privatized those functions due to budget constraints. The city of Janesville is posing a referendum to increase revenue. Small businesses are suffering.

If you’re privately employed, a business owner, a public servant or general laborer, is this the type of sheriff’s office leadership you want to endorse with your vote?



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