Myopic County Budget Lacks Vision for Future

untitledCongratulations, citizens of Marion County. You went one for three. That batting average may get you into the Hall of Fame, but it does little for open government. The City of Jefferson had a public hearing on its budget. No resident cared to speak.

Jefferson ISD held a public hearing on its budget and proposed tax rate. No one showed. Marion County commissioners held two public hearings on the proposed tax rate and one on the budget. One man spoke at the budget hearing.In some ways, your apathy is understandable.

Both city and schools are lowering tax rates. The county only proposes a 2.4-cent tax boost from last year. With property tax bills headed south, residents are content to leave well enough alone. There is also the problem of researching the three budgets.

With football season started, most of you have better things to do than trek to each office for your complimentary copy of the budget. You are probably capable of recognizing the sheriff ’s budget went from $1,511,000 to $1,576,000, but there is little to indicate the boost covers the hiring of an additional jailer.

The new MCSO employee is one of the positive items in the county budget, which was hobbled by the prevailing mindset. Pct. 3 Commissioner Charlie Treadwell articulated the county’s mantra following the budget hearing to the effect that debt can eat up small counties and Marion County was determinedly debt-free.

Of course, being debt-free is not necessarily a bad thing. I wish I was. But an absence of debt can also hinder an organization’s progress. I once heard a man say he never wanted to join a church that was… (a subscription to the Jimplecute is required to continue reading this article).

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