The Lassen County Chamber of Commerce’s Think Local First program provides many reasons for keeping our local dollars in play right here in our hometown — we save money while investing in our community, we support businesses that support our community, we maintain and create jobs, we keep the money we spend right here at home and we encourage business and attract businesses to Lassen County.
It’s a lesson Lassen County government ought to learn as quickly as possible.
Over the past few weeks, details regarding a contract between a Reno, Nevada private investigator and the Lassen County Public Defender’s Office have become public.
According to reports to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors, the Reno contractor has collected something like $24,000 over the past couple of years after the public defender’s office passed over local private investigators because the district’s attorney’s office allegedly questioned the reliability of their reports.
In addition, the amount paid to the Reno contractor exceeded the $10,000 per year limit without the board’s approval, an apparent violation of the county’s policies and procedures.
There is probably plenty of blame to go around, but since that money’s already been spent with a Silver State contractor and we have a new public defender and a new county administrative officer, now’s the time to put the matter behind us and move forward.
The supervisors have taken steps to get these kinds of expenditures under control.
At the board’s insistence, county staffers have all said they will diligently follow the county’s policies and ensure that no other contracts exceed their allotted amounts and terms.
If and when they do, the staffers promise to bring the contracts before the board in a timely manner for approval.
The board also wants to give five private investigators from Susanville and Lassen County an opportunity to bid on the public defender private investigator contract because the supervisors want to keep that money local.
There’s a much greater chance money paid to a local contractor will be spent right here in our community — at local stores, restaurants, gas stations and other businesses that will then spend that money locally and pay employees who will also spend their money at other local businesses.
We all get a chance to prosper through keeping our local money local.
Why spend it somewhere else?
Now is the time for all of us — including county government — to help support our community’s economic well being. Let’s do our best to keep our local money local.
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