When will the county change?

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, February 21, 2009

What will it take for the Lawrence County Commissioners and other officeholders to finally realize it is time for drastic measures?

This county remains on the edge of financial disaster, always just one unexpected expense away from a crisis.

The warning signs are there, yet it seems as if no one wants to take any real action to address the budget problems because that action will likely require cutting some jobs.

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The red flags have been there for years. From shut off notices to relying on a dwindling revenue stream even as expenses rise, the situation is clear. Sadly, no major changes are made.

Then came the performance audit saying the county would be broke soon if things don’t change. Nothing substantial was done.

Next came the first state of the county report that showed the county didn’t hold the line on expenses or salaries.

Still, nothing major has been done.

Now comes the revelation that the county auditor was barely able to make payroll and nearly had to start taking advances on property tax revenues.

What will it take? Missing a payroll? Having the electricity shut off at the courthouse?

While some officeholders have done a good job of cutting expenses, others have not. County commissioners should cut the funding for one position in every department except for the sheriff’s office. Then they need to hold those officeholders accountable to that budget.

If services suffer because an officeholder won’t live within his or her means, the public must make a decision.

The taxpayers need to take a stand too and make their voices heard. Start now and if you don’t see a turnaround it is time to make some changes at the polls.