Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

June 7, 2013

Real world issue

City’s budget struggle interesting read

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

— Our Janet Jacobs has a story in today’s paper about the early work on the City of Corsicana 2013-14 budget, and some of the challenges they are facing in the coming year.

I feel quite certain that we all can “relate” to that — it’s a battle the working folk in this city, and hundreds of other cities across the nation, have been fighting for some time now.

I’m not suggesting it’s “karma” or “gotcha” or anything like that, mind you.

But I do hope it is a learning experience for our city’s leaders, as it has been out here in the “real world” for some time now.

We’ve all had to learn to get by with what we had to get by with, and make cuts — sometimes painful — just to make ends meet.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure that the 2 percent cuts that have been made proposed in the preliminary document go far enough to have enough of an impact on the budget, given that there are some fee increases for water and sewer being considered.

No new taxes, mind you — they are just going to charge us more for luxuries like water and sewer service.

Sorry, but an increase in the cost of an essential like that is no different than a tax increase for John Q. Citizen.

To be honest, I haven’t gone through the books, haven’t seen the budgets, don’t know for sure what the cuts are to get them to the point they are at now.

But I do believe — short of public safety and fire protection — that there are quite probably some cost savings yet to be found at the Corsicana Government Center, savings that might keep us all from having to pay increased fees that our incomes haven’t kept up with, either.

As noted in the paragraph above, I am proud to be a strong supporter of our public safety personnel, both city and county. They are the ones that lay down their lives for us 24/7/365.

They will never make enough, in my opinion, to repay them for the toll their service to us all takes on them, their families and their loved ones.

Give them everything they need, pay them well, and keep those jobs filled.

That is a non-negotiable in my book.

If we have to cut somewhere else to do that, break out the erasers, the white-out, the delete keys, and get it done.

And for the benefit of John Q. Public, you’ve got a much larger role in this story than you have historically taken.

Show up at the city council meetings where these decisions are being voted on.

Talk to your councilman or councilwoman, and tell them what you think.

To those of you that get involved, good work.

To the majority that don’t — “this Bud’s for you.”

Get involved in the process, or keep your complaints to yourself.

That, too, is a non-negotiable.

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Bob Belcher is Managing Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. His column appears on Saturdays. He may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com