06/25/13 — Off the cuff: Commissioners still speak without all the facts

View Archive

Off the cuff: Commissioners still speak without all the facts

It happened again Monday.

No surprise really -- another round of seemingly random budget cuts -- and several targets, including a county literacy program and the county's library system.

And with those proposals, more non-facts -- statements that not only were ill-informed, but were quite simply, false.

More on that on the way.

But Monday's show does suggest that perhaps more of us should be looking a lot more closely at not only what is being chopped from the county budget, but the justification for doing so.

And that is especially true if you are a supporter of one of the non-profit groups seeking county support.

OK, so budget-cutting to create an average $27.50 per $100,000 in property tax savings for most county taxpayers is the goal here -- no matter what the cost.

But that doesn't mean that the community has to accept the logic of what seems like a commission voting block, which appears to be immune to reason or fact.

So although we hear the same commissioner who did not know what English as a Second Language accomplishes, but who did not hesitate to make false statements about its purpose in his justification of his cuts, claim he is making cuts based on "trends and histories," we do not have to accept that as truth, fairness and a wise and sound decision.

It is time to demand proof, hard numbers and reality instead of conjecture. And it is time for those on the board who know better to stand up and to be counted.

And it is more than time to apply the truth test to the statements made by the county commissioners -- and to hold them accountable when they are quite simply, wrong.

Responsible funds management is not slash and burn -- and eliminating programs that create the circumstance where people can become LESS dependent on government programs is about as far away from the intent of limited and responsible government as you can get.

And it is not what voters expect.

Trim the budget of waste, not what looks like waste from across the room and down the hall.

If there is fluff, cut it, but justify it.

And do it in public with hard numbers.

It seems awfully interesting that each time there is a budget meeting there is a new list of cuts or information that has not appeared in the public record previously.

How do those suggestions prompt so little discussions in meetings? Perhaps because it is not the first time the commissioners have heard them.

The budget might be a done deal -- for now -- but residents are wrong if they think they cannot make a difference.

Speak up. Demand accountability.

They will have to listen.

Published in Editorials on June 25, 2013 10:51 AM