MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 2, 2012

County smart to tighten belts

Muskogee County Commissioners are right to review spending in an effort to squeeze as much flexibility from their budgets as possible.

The commissioners agreed to form a committee to look for waste and inefficiencies in their spending to help offset a flat-line budget approved for fiscal year 2013.

That type of fiscal responsibility is to be applauded.

The commissioners did add some revenue by transferring money from the county’s use tax fund.

Those kinds of transfers should be limited, too.

County Assessor Dan Ashwood’s office did receive an extra $7,000 over his budget from a year ago.

Ashwood says the extra money will give his employees — the lowest paid of county employees — a raise this year.

Aside from a little extra money here and there, the county must live within its means until revenue increases.

Businesses can’t cut their way to prosperity.

Government, however, must first look to ensure their shops are in order before passing an unnecessary bill on to the public.

Each county officer basically agreed to a budget flat to last year.

That’s an important step for the taxpayers as well.

Taxpayers can’t afford another burden while the economy is so tough.

We need the services the commissioners provide, but taxpayers are just not in a position to add more expense right now.

That’s why the commissioners’ plan to check every pocket first is so critical to the process.

Commissioners are seeking ways to make their current revenue go further than last year, which is exactly what most of their constituents have been doing for years.

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