"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men."

- Samuel Adams

Thursday, September 1, 2011

County Commissioners Lazy or Inept?

The County Commissioners are continuing their "across the board" budget cuts for the current year and, apparently, are considering the same approach for next year's budget. Why? Do they not recognize that certain services are a higher priority than others?

When a family encounters hard times, they don't cut their latte budget the same percentage as the kids' school lunch budget. They prioritize. Shouldn't our County Commissioners do the same thing? This is the type of leadership and tough decision-making that we should not only expect but demand from our elected officials.

Many believe the number one priority for government should be the safety of its citizens. To underfund the Sheriff's Office, Court system, and Corrections just so that "across the board" cuts can be made is at best lazy, and at worst is inept. There, undoubtedly, will be differing opinions on what the priorities should be and these should be discussed and resolved in a public meeting. Perhaps this means that some entire programs will be cut or some departments eliminated or significantly reduced while others suffer no cuts whatsoever. This may be unfortunate but it is the hard economic reality in which we are currently living.

The Commissioners are choosing to pass the buck to the various departments and agencies saying "You make the cuts." By doing this, they are providing political cover for themselves because they can always point to others who had to actually make the cuts and say it was someone else who cut that position or reduced that program. We should not allow them to do this.

We should demand that those serving at the County Commissioner level show leadership and make the difficult decisions. Then we must hold them accountable for those decisions. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, there is always the next election.

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