08/04/11 — Cuts are coming: County has reason to worry, but that is what budget-cutting requires

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Cuts are coming: County has reason to worry, but that is what budget-cutting requires

County Manager Lee Smith is right. Someone besides him should bear the responsibility of setting the priorities for Wayne County.

And yes, it should be the county's commissioners -- along with a little guidance from the voters who elected them.

As the state and federal governments continue to deal with the message from voters that they are spending too much, the cuts will filter down to the counties, rightly or wrongly.

It is here, locally, that decisions should be made about what taxpayers want to fund and what they want to watch go by the wayside until there are better economic days.

There will be some tough decisions, but there should be. If we cannot afford to continue to provide certain programs, even if they are for children, we cannot afford to provide them. That is the harsh reality. And we need to be careful, too. Children are not the only ones who need help, residents need to remember there are senior citizens' programs to consider as well.

And while this is not what any of us want, right now, there has to be a limit to what we can afford to fund and what we, as a community, are willing to increase taxes or fees to fund.

Of course, we also have to be careful. We have to cut every last bit of fat and think twice about everything from overtime and salaries to effectiveness of programs. We need to look at efficiency and other factors.

And we need to set priorities -- to decide which programs will help build this county's future and which we can do without -- and that is the responsibility of our elected leaders.

It isn't what anyone wants to do, but it is what this county needs to do, at least right now.

Published in Editorials on August 4, 2011 10:55 AM