That’s our money on the roads

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prudent people tighten their belts and curb their spending when times are tight or the future is uncertain.

A wise head of household will pull out every bill and question it asking, “Is this something we must have or can we live without it?”

The same kind of logic needs to be happening right now in our local government meetings.

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Times may not be awful yet, but the City of Natchez, for example, has had to borrow money just to make it through its year. And the economic future is certainly uncertain.

Tax collections are down both locally and statewide. In Mississippi, after 12 straight months of less-than-anticipated tax revenue Gov. Haley Barbour announced Thursday $171 million will be cut out of the state’s budget.

State shortfalls may continue to be felt at the local level as the states may be forced to reduce funding for all sorts of projects that flow back into local communities.

One issue that continues to pop up in the minds of taxpayers is the notion that some government workers receive special perks, including the ability to drive home taxpayer owned vehicles.

Obviously many of these are provided for legitimate reasons and to help the workers respond quickly to emergencies that occasionally arise.

However, the use of some vehicles to drive to and from work probably isn’t legitimate and certainly aren’t “must haves” to get public business done.

As leaders work to shave down their spending plans, we urge them to look carefully at each and every public vehicle on their inventory and ask, “Is this the best use of taxpayer money?”