A county budget on the line

Re "8,000 phone lines, $1.5 million, zero calls," June 19

I am glad that the article on abandoned phone lines was published but highly disappointed with the comment by the spokesman for Supervisor Don Knabe: "During these difficult times, we need to look for every possible way to save every dollar."

At all times, it should be the responsibility of our elected officials to save every dollar they can. They do not have a mandate to waste money in good times and then be frugal in bad times. If they can't prevent waste at all times, they are not doing their job and should be replaced by responsible officials.

The spokesman for Supervisor Mike Antonovich put it better: "Of course, whenever there is any waste in the county it is disturbing."

Steven Bein

Los Angeles

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Does anyone in county government take responsibility for anything -- 8,000 phone lines, $1.5 million, zero calls? How does a government install phone lines without rhyme or reason?

How can the county not explain specific portions of a phone bill? Do any of the supervisors or their bloated staffs even take the time to examine billings and other payment of claims to this bureaucratic dinosaur known as the County of Los Angeles?

If Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is describing this taxpayer rip-off as "government at its worst," isn't he really critiquing his own tenure as an elected official?

Nick Antonicello

Venice Beach

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This is just one small example of government waste -- and a perfect example why taxpayers don't want to give the government more money in higher taxes. Why should we? We give more, and the government will just come around next year and again threaten us with the loss of teachers, firefighters and police -- the same tired threat every time. What we need to do is to eliminate the wasteful spending that we have right now.

Jeri Dixon

Glendale

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