A recent letter published in the Union-Bulletin from Charles Potts supporting Randal Son questioned how many accountants are needed on the county commission. For starters, both candidates with accounting backgrounds are up for election this year so potentially we could have none.
On Oct. 16 an article on the front page of the U-B talked about the financial problems facing the Walla Walla City Council with regard to the Memorial Pool project. Apparently the county, the Port District and College Place have all indicated they would contribute a total of $450,000 to add amenities and pay for cost overages.
These grants would qualify the project for another $500,000 grant from the Sherwood Trust.
Unfortunately the cost to annually operate the pool is estimated to be $400,000 and the projected revenue is $300,000. An alternative would be to charge non-city people more to use the facility which might shave about $10,000 from the loss but it would jeopardize the $450,000 and $500,000 in grant money.
One Council member indicated the operating loss is not a lot of money and the operating costs are always going to remain the same. The City Council could use someone with a financial background if its members think $100,000 isn’t a lot of money and if they think operating costs are going to remain constant.
It would be wise to insist that all of our county commissioners have a good basic financial understanding since one of their main functions is generating and overseeing an annual budget. If they have any spare time they might lend a financial hand to our City Council who seems to need some help.