09/16/06 — A dollar at a time: Making a few priorities might not be such a bad idea

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A dollar at a time: Making a few priorities might not be such a bad idea

To say that there are a lot of voices clamoring for money from Wayne County’s taxpayers right now is an understatement.

From charitable giving to community projects, there are many people who want to lay claim to our hard-earned money after all our bills are paid.

So, it might be understandable to think that some of us might be getting a little tired of listening to the appeals and the bickering over which project deserves support and which ones need to be put on the back burner until a more prosperous year.

But, really, that is exactly the question we need to answer.

Even though they are in separate jurisdictions and come from different pots of money — the reality is that money spent on the Paramount Theater, community building, school facilities, animal shelter and Stoney Creek park all will come from the same pot — private donations from Wayne County families or the money they pay in taxes.

And that does not even count the good works that are being done around the county by local organizations that desperately need support.

There is only one pot, though, and it is getting spread a little too thin. And if we are not careful, there won’t be any money left to handle any other concern that might come along. After all, there is only so much the residents of this county can afford to give.

A coordinated plan of action — a blueprint if you will — is a must if all this work is going to get funded and done. Getting the county, school and city leaders together, discussing options and priorities and then moving forward briskly would be a whole smarter than just jumping in with both feet and hoping that it will all work out in the end.

There is nothing wrong with taking a look at the big picture, and then developing a three-year or longer plan to get the job done, and a coordinated effort to raise the money necessary to act in a reasonable amount of time.

All Wayne County’s taxpayers ask is that those who make the plans keep in mind that there is no money tree ... for anyone.

Published in Editorials on September 16, 2006 11:42 PM