Letter: Morelli Responds To Nielsen Letter

Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to the letter “Special Interests At Work Fighting Independent IG,” published last week.

Richard Nielsen wrote “special interests are exerting pressure on the county clerk’s office to delay funding.” Perhaps the inspector general would be interested in knowing who these interests are and what they have to gain.

A majority of municipalities in Palm Beach County have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance that created the Office of the Inspector General.

Those who oppose the suit have two weak arguments, neither of which address the merits of the case. The first is that most of the politicians on the local level are corrupt and therefore do not want oversight by the OIG. The second is that most of the local politicians refuse to honor the 72 percent who voted to create the office.

The first argument is scurrilous and has no basis in fact. The second argument ignores the fact that the lawsuit does not challenge oversight. It challenges the funding mechanism, which was not approved by any voter.

The third argument seems disingenuous. It is that the OIG, for which the county has budgeted millions each year, could be funded by a one-quarter percent surcharge on government contracts and it would not cost taxpayers a cent. If we were to do the math, we would find that governments would have to spend so much on contracts that it would either bankrupt them or taxes would have to be increased substantially.

Frank Morelli