Much of the last Dyersville city council meeting was spent in questioning individual bills that the city pays—$13,000 for audit services, $872 for membership in the East Central Intergovernmental Agency, $4,500 for masonry for the city clock, $8,700 for seeding and mowing, etc.

While such laborious poring over the numbers may seem time-consuming or, at worst, myopic, we believe it shows officials’ willingness to dig into the details of city business. We hope they are efficiently using the time spent on doing so.

Part of the reason officials have spent more public time on bills recently is that, with several still relatively new council people, they are learning as they go. We are reminded that these officials brought in an outsider type of perspective, and continued previous councils’ philosophical tradition of working to save taxpayer money.

Public officials can be applauded for watching out for the nickels and dimes. Most questions on the bills are easily explained, as employees look over expenses before they come before the council. However, just a few months ago, city officials saved taxpayers thousands of dollars by pointing out an over-billing from the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) in which the city was charged $13,000 for ECIA to oversee a $20,000 demolition. That’s more than a few nickels and dimes.

ECIA readily admitted that timecards had been coded incorrectly, and the city saved more than $7,000 that would have gone down the drain without sharp eyes at the council table.

In expenses, as with many things, the more eyes the better. Watching out for taxpayer money is a big part of an elected official’s job. We’re glad that they’re watching. 

Our Opinion is the consensus of the Dyersville Commercial editorial staff.