Last week, Jeff Johnson opened up a blog called Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog. This week, he's already got an excellent example of why the site is so desperately needed:
We in Hennepin County government have recently been congratulating ourselves about the new solar panels just installed on the county's Public Works building in Medina. The panels are touted as a great success story for county taxpayers because they are saving $15,000 per year in energy costs.
I believe this sort of project can be a great use of taxpayer dollars. If there are "green" improvements that we can make to county buildings that save us money down the road (within a reasonable period of time), I'm on board.
When I was first told about the panels, I asked what I assumed was a simple and relevant question: How much did the panels cost; how long before they have paid for themselves and the taxpayers start realizing this $15,000 annual savings?
You'll have to follow the link to find out exactly how long the taxpayers of Hennepin County will have to wait see a payoff on our "investment." I will say that if I somehow manage to live to see that day, I will have been be a very fortunate and blessed man indeed.