How would you spend #036;2 million bucks?
Let's go on a hypothetical trip for a moment. You've just won $2 million in the lottery. Yes, that's correct. After years and years of meticulously purchasing lottery tickets, your small weekly investment has paid off - you've won!
Quick, whose advice will you seek on how best to invest that $2 million?
Why the Lawrence County Commissioners, of course.
Seem ludicrous? Perhaps, but each year county shoppers offer their "winnings" over to the commissions in the form of $2 million from the countywide half-cent sales tax.
Last week, County Sheriff Tim Sexton was informed that his threadbare office would run out of salary funding by as early as September. The news came after Sexton requested that the county commissioners take a portion of the $2 million sales tax funds and divert a portion to his office.
On the surface, Sexton's request makes perfect sense. The tax was levied to fund emergency services. Sexton has long argued that his office should receive funds from the tax. We agree.
Instead, the county spends the $2 million to fund the county's 911 system, the county's Emergency Management Agency and the largest chunk goes to the Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Services for ambulance service.
We remain baffled why elected officials have discussed the possibility of streamlining our emergency services budgets, but have yet to get off center. From combining the dispatching services for potential savings to considering managing our own ambulance services, politicians have mulled dozens of options and ways to save money.
Yet, years later, nothing has changed.
The county continues to spend money in the same ways. We have to believe that savings could be found through carefully exploring all means to become more efficient.
And, when those efficiencies are found, let's spend the money to either put more deputies on the road or give them better equipment. Most residents would agree that they feel safer seeing their tax dollars patrolling the roads instead of patrolling the halls of bureaucracy inside county offices.