Taxpayer money must be priority

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The role of county government is to make the most efficient use of taxpayer money in providing goods and services to county residents. Period.

It is not, despite the common misconception, to create local jobs or the bully anyone into spending money locally.

Creating local jobs and spending money locally are both worthy priorities, but they are not at the top of supervisors’ to-do list.

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A prime example of this was underscored at Monday’s Adams County Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

Supervisor Ricky Gray said he is disappointed that the contractor working to build a segment of levee at the county’s best industrial site is not using local labor, particularly dirt haulers.

Gray made his frustrations widely known and it will certainly sound good to constituents — particularly those who work in dirt hauling.

But the problem is that Gray’s chiding the low-bid contractor about not hiring locally, ignores the capitalism at play here.

The construction company that won the contract figured out a better and more economical method of operating than perhaps other bidders. That’s not the owner’s fault and he or she should certainly not be pressed to hire locally if the numbers don’t work.

Supervisors might be wise to ask local contractors why they couldn’t beat the out-of-town company on the bids. Then, if the county’s rules and regulations are a factor in the bid differences, supervisors should aim to fix that.

If not, they need to simply grin and bear it and let capitalism work.