04/25/13 — Budget savvy: Facilities planning needs to have a defined goal

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Budget savvy: Facilities planning needs to have a defined goal

There are two certainties in politics.

The first, politicians like to tell taxpayers they are spending hawks zealously guarding their tax dollars from free-spending bureaucrats.

(Well, at least some politicians like to say that.)

The second is that politicians are more than willing to turn their heads away "and think about that tomorrow" when there is a big project -- and cost -- on the horizon that can no longer be avoided, but that they know taxpayers aren't going to like.

And as city and county leaders continue to look over their plans for 2013-14 and beyond, they need to keep in mind one indisputable fact.

Sometimes you have to spend money.

Facilities is one of those budget items that people do not like to think about.

Patching up a school building or making due one more year with a jail seems like a good idea when you look at the immediate impact of the dollars and cents.

But the truth is, sometimes waiting too long can actually cost you money -- and there are decisions that can no longer be relegated to "next year," especially if you want to stay competitive in the world of economic development.

Perhaps, this might be one of those "spend a bit to grow a bit" years for Wayne County.

It will take a whole lot of leadership and a little bit less in the politics department to determine whether that observation is true.

Published in Editorials on April 25, 2013 10:52 AM