City, county have money to save

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The government leaders of the City of Natchez and Adams County find themselves in a tight spot.

Between the two entities, they’ve approved borrowing approximately $1.6 million in short-term loans to account for cash needs until early next year when anticipated tax collections begin to start rolling into the public coffers.

Borrowing to make ends meet has become commonplace for the city, less so for the county, though the county’s unanimous vote to take out the loan seemed to indicate the practice is perfectly acceptable.

Email newsletter signup

At the time of the county’s vote, county attorney Bobby Cox quipped that lots of other government entities routinely do the same thing.

Our mothers’ lesson from years ago, something involving the phrase, “If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you?” seems to come to mind here.

The point isn’t to chide the city and county further. That proves fruitless in this case — the damage is done.

However, if the city and county have such poor cash reserves that borrowing to make ends meet is necessary, perhaps every possible expense savings needs to be considered.

We’ve recently learned the Natchez Police chief will soon retire. We also know the Adams County Sheriff’s Office currently responds to more and more calls within the Natchez city limits.

Merging the police and sheriff’s offices should be at the top of the list of both the Natchez Board of Aldermen and the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

Taxpayers — city and county variety — deserve to get the best bang for their buck.

Funding two law enforcement agencies, when one might do just fine, is costing taxpayers two bucks for two very similar bangs.