Looking at budget solutions

"We knew the answer about four years ago, and here we are again."
That's Glen "Whitey" Daniels, a member of the Fayette County Board, talking as the board discussed a deficit budget last Thursday evening.
Indeed, the county board has been fighting financial issues for a number of years, some of which have been created by the state's failure to provide its payments to the county on a timely basis.
The county initially addressed any shortages by taking monies from its capital improvement fund. Then, they learned that, legally, such transfers can only be considered loans that have to be paid back.
The county is in a tough situation financially, given the fact that unions representing county employees have opposed furlough days and that the county, as Chairman Jeff Beck said last Thursday, has to keep staffing at a level required to meet the increasing number of state mandates.
What board members ultimately decided to do last Thursday was to gather for a brainstorming session, to see what their options are in addressing a shortfall of more than $500,000 in the new budget.
The finance committee has been fine-tuning the budget for several months, and it's time for all of the others to get deeply involved in the process.

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