Written by Jeff Johnson on May 27, 2009. Posted in General

Welcome to the Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog – a blog dedicated to informing the taxpayers of one of America’s largest counties how their money is really being spent.

I am a member of the 7-member Hennepin County Board of Commissioners myself.  I was first elected to the Board last November and sworn in this January.  In my first few months, I’ve been amazed at the reach of the $1.7 billion annual county budget (larger than several state budgets) and the sometimes curious (and sometimes outrageous) ways this money is spent.  As Hennepin County government actions largely fly under the media radar screen – despite our tremendous impact on your individual and business property taxes – I felt it time to provide an insider perspective.

I don’t intend to just Hennepin County-bash in this blog.  There are Hennepin County successes to report, as well – wise and innovative uses of taxpayer dollars for important county priorities like public safety, transportation and helping truly vulnerable citizens.

Many of these successes, however, are widely touted by the county itself and often covered by the media, so while I will bring them up on occasion, my focus will be more often on informing you of programs and spending items that you don’t hear about – things like million-dollar landscaping projects at the county garbage burner, free healthcare for illegal aliens or county funding for sex education teachers in the public schools (about which I have posted below).

And, while I realize that county government all by itself is fascinating enough to keep you coming back again and again , I will occasionally venture outside of Hennepin government and politics to discuss things happening elsewhere (as I have in a post below regarding the Twin Cities Tea Party I attended last month).

I’ll be posting on Mondays and Thursdays, if not more often.  Thanks for checking in.

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