06/17/07 — Money talk: The budget numbers are in; what’s next step for county?

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Money talk: The budget numbers are in; what’s next step for county?

After weeks of give and take, both the city and county leaderships are ready to talk seriously about money.

And it is a good thing, too. After all, the final budget numbers are due in by July 1.

So that means someone had better get busy getting some votes cast.

As with any budget proposal, there are some funding decisions that could have some residents scratching their heads — and leave others fit to be tied.

And, in the county, there is still the looming spectre of the school facilities needs — as well as other projects that need attention and funding from the county.

So although the actual budget numbers will be in place by early July, that doesn’t mean that leaders and residents are finished talking about money.

There are a thousand ways to spend tax dollars — and a thousand different perspectives on whether or not they are being spent properly. So, the fact that some Wayne County residents disagree as to where their money should go is not surprising.

But as we think about taxes, cuts and services, we need to remember priorities — and what we want Wayne County to look like in the next decade.

Progress is critical, of course, if this county is going to stay competitive in the hunt for new industrial investment.

Education is a key element to attracting that investment, so this county also has to have a strong school system. Getting to that level is going to take the kind of resources and facilities that make parents feel their children are getting the best education possible. And to accomplish that, school leaders have to have the money to attract and keep the best personnel.

And then there are the day-to-day expenses. Look at your own bills. Are your costs going down?

The fact that the county commission has cut its tax increase proposal from 5 to 3 cents is a nice development — but not if it means in a couple years, the tax increase will be 12 cents instead of 6.

If there are priorities that will help make this county more prosperous and stronger in the near future, now is the time to think about biting the bullet.

No one likes to talk about money, but in this case, it is one of the most important discussions for our future.

Published in Editorials on June 17, 2007 12:00 AM