Feeding the monster.
For Cleveland and Bradley County, budget time is here again. A time that must strike fear into the minds of County Mayor Gary Davis, and City Manager Joe Cate. The reason for the trepidation is because they know that they can't please everyone and more than likely they will upset most. Public sentiment has demanded a halt to tax increases but special interests on the fringes of government are forever raising its cost. There has been no obvious tax increases for the past 3 years yet the cost of government has risen almost 10% a year, supposedly living on growth money. Imagine what could be achieved had that growth money been returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers. Both Davis and Cate claim to be presiding over "bare bones" budgets yet they are spending money on every conceivable whim and fancy. New government projects abound everywhere, offices are plush and personnel are being added at the rate of hundreds a year system wide. They, supported by legislative bodies that want to make cuts but never quite seem able to because everyone's pet project demands financing, trudge on looking for ways to increase revenue to feed the monster. Davis was proud to announce the revitalization of the area around the courthouse as one of his priorities for 2005, replanting trees and moving monuments to the tune of millions of dollars. Bare bones indeed. And Cate seems to be quietly rebuilding from the ground up, the maintenance garage, the police building, even a new airport, all in the space of a year or two. Yeah, there are bones showing everywhere. In the coming months, it is likely that the same rhetoric will be repeated, hoping to mislead the public that budgets are being trimmed and taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely, but it doesn't have to be like that. If elected officials were to follow the wishes of their constituents and cut spending, really cut spending, not just cut budget requests for more money, then, after a few years of turmoil and firing those that did not cooperate, lower taxes and government efficiency would become the norm. Will Davis, Cate, the County Commission and the Cleveland City Council honor the wishes of there constituents?
What do you think?
Lock um' all up.
Even thinking about the new Bradley County Justice Center tends to bring up bile from the pit of the stomach. This project is a prime example of why government, both state and local, can't be trusted to do anything right. The complex was