$43,000 squabble; Return $10 contributions to couples.

Position:EDITORIAL - Editorial
 
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COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION

Set up housekeeping long enough and you can fund a cup of coffee with what's under the couch cushions.

Well, cities sometimes come up with their own curious little stashes.

An auditor, Sullivan, Rogers & Company LLC, is questioning the legality of $43,000 collected by the city clerk's office in fiscal 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Couples applying for a marriage license, which carries a $40 fee, were asked if they also wanted to contribute $10 toward a marriage counseling fund, according to City Clerk David J. Rushford. Those who said yes were given separate receipts, and the counseling fund amassed $43,000.

The practice stopped, and - inexplicably - the fund sat in the proverbial cupboard. It was never used to help troubled couples access marriage help from nonprofit agencies, as the only withdrawal noted is $20 for miscellaneous in fiscal 2007.

We suppose we can overlook the oddness of asking people seeking to tie the knot to help out those whose love has begun to fray. We can save for a rainy day the question of whether subsidizing marriage counseling is an appropriate municipal mission.

The immediate issue is what to do with the nest egg, which according to the audit was $43,100 as of June 30.

Our advice...

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