This is my third blog entry on the county budget mess. My first entry is here and my second one is here.
I am happy to report that I met with nearly every Republican office holder and leader on Tuesday evening. This group of judges and county-wide elected officials vowed to work together.
My message to all of them was consistent with what I've written in this blog. We must lead on cutting spending to help balance the county's budget. Every leader in the room agreed.
However, we have begun to take a look at how the county commissioners spend their money. I have asked one of our more savvy and knowledgeable Republicans to take a close look at where these Democrats on the commission are spending your tax dollars. If we are to make these draconian cuts in the budget and cuts in service, we should know where all the money is going. I will report back on this in a future blog posting.
We as Republicans are not the problem. To be fair, the problem is a slow economy and poor revenue. With our office-holders, I am convinced that we are running lean. We have to run "leaner." I understand this.
What does this mean? It means a cut in services to taxpayers. It means fewer jail spaces to house criminals. It may mean longer wait times to get into the courthouse. It may mean less salt for our county streets in the winter. It may mean fewer police officers patrolling our streets to make it safe. There are several other places that the public may notice this cut in service. These are all unavoidable because of the serious cuts that are required and the mess we have.
In light of the fact that taxpayers and citizens may feel this burden, it is our greatest responsibility to cut unnecessary spending in places where the taxpayer is not burdened wherever possible. I hope the Democrats do the same.
These are difficult times for families, businesses, and government. We all feel the pinch. We must work together to solve the people's problems.