There are two sides to a coin. At the last Lee County Commission meeting there was a discussion on EMS policy; reported was the human issue side. On the other side of the coin, there was the often-maligned-by-some Commissioner Dennis Roland, who to me was wanted to be a good steward of taxpayer money by penny pinching.
You might have heard of the Smithville Fire station change order that was approved, but did you also hear that it is coming from the contingency fund, and with $100K reserved for unemployment expenses, that fund is now just about empty?
These are hard financial times; last May, there was just one page of foreclosures in the Ledger, and it’s averaging three pages since, each ad representing a Lee County citizen who ran into financial hard times. With property reassessments frozen for two years, SPLOST revenues behind, and little growth in the forecast, county revenue growth is likely to be flat over last year.
It won’t take much — a department over budget or an emergency expenditure — for the county commissioners to have to make a decision: Break their no-millage-rate increase or pull from the reserve fund. So, Commissioner Roland, you keep looking for ways to pinch a penny; it’s better than the alternative.