01/02/09 — On our toes ... County officials need to keep eye on state leaders, budget

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On our toes ... County officials need to keep eye on state leaders, budget

Let's face it, there aren't too many people who are clamoring to have the job of the new governor in the state of North Carolina.

Faced with a budget deficit and a long list of plans for money that isn't there, Gov.-elect Bev Perdue is going to have to do some soul-searching and prioritizing as she decides where to spend what this coming year.

And as she does that, she will be looking for places to chop unnecessary spending out of the budget.

And that's good -- sort of.

Wayne County's legislative team as well as local officials themselves need to keep a close eye on the proceedings in Raleigh -- and make sure that their voices are heard, loudly, when the time comes for cutting and appropriating.

This could very well be a year when those wheels that squeak the loudest are the ones who get to keep the funding they have or get more of the money they need.

And we sure want to be one of those squeaky wheels.

The fact that many legislators are likely to push for more spending cuts -- and that there has been so much attention paid to the costs associated with government -- are good signs that someone in Raleigh gets that the taxpayers only have so much left in their pockets to contribute. This is not the year for bountiful government programs and an endless supply of overhead costs for state-run agencies. There also is no need for pork barrel projects for anyone this year.

Wayne County, however, can speak up for itself and make sure that the splits and cuts are equitable -- and that the big dogs don't do all the spending while the rest of the counties do the saving.

Published in Editorials on January 2, 2009 10:51 AM