Maurice Harris

In today's SE Missourian, an article discusses the sorry financial state that Puxico, MO, is in. The state auditor found that the town uses restricted funds that supposed to be spent on streets and the water went to the general fund of the town. Also, the audit found excess spending for items that Puxico did not need:

The city also used approximately $1,400 of taxpayer money to purchase
hams for Christmas presents for employees and for a Christmas party, as
well as purchasing flowers, figurines and candy for city employees or
other individuals for illness or death, and paid for an official's
spouse to attend a conference.

The article also discusses that the town was missing money as well, causing budget deficits that grew over the last few years. Finally, the town broke sunshine laws that kept citizens ill-informed of what was going on:

"The city does not document when agendas for board meetings are
posted," said Lewis. There was no information available to determine
when the agendas were posted.

This is proof positive that when government is not overseen by the people it serves, incidents like this happen, where government waste runs rampant. Also, Puxico's economy is not in the best shape to expand the tax base and add revenue to the town's treasury. This is probably due to the sorry fiscal shape of the town. Overall, it shows that when governments are not kept in check, making sure that their tax dollars are well-spent, waste and malfeasance can happen.

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Maurice Harris