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Living Within Our Means

A Column by the Edior
web posted April 8, 2011

COLUMN – Edgefield County Administrator Alton Brown has been fired as of Tuesday night and the county is going to start looking for a replacement to fill the position. There is no use in rehashing the antics of Brown's short tenure as Administrator, his short history is well known. The focus of the County Council needs to be on the future, not the past.

Hopefully the new majority will hold up their campaign promises for a transparent administration and place someone who will make the county's business available to the public, and to the elected and appointed officials in office. In that regard, former Administrator Brown was an abject failure.

It is time this county brings in someone who will "thin the herd" of redundant and cronyism that has left us with employees who we no longer need.

Money is tight and we don't have the funds to keep people whose jobs are reproduced by others in the county government.

It is like paying someone to label the envelope, another person to write the letter, and a third to lick the stamp.

With tight budget revenues this year, the county needs to look at streamlining county government, reducing waste, and eliminate the un-needed bureaucracy.

Why are we paying over $50,000 to Lakeshia Bryant to be the Tax Assessor and at the same time paying Building and Planning Director Mike Reed to work part-time in the Assessor's Office? If Ms. Bryant is not able to handle her job, get some one who can and reduce Reed's pay.

Why do we have one person issuing purchase orders, another receiving the bills, and a third to pay the bill? Shouldn't this all be the same person? It's not like we are some huge metropolis where tens of millions of dollars are handled on a daily basis.

After all, we are (or were) paying our county administrator almost as much as the Mayor of the second largest city in Georgia (Augusta) to do his job.

Excuse me if I see a problem with that.

It is time our county government rein back on the salaries of those who hold some sort of sacred positions in our county government. It might also want to rein in unelected officials from being so demanding of where funds are directed, as if they are better informed on county finances than those who are skilled in doing so.

Those who suckle on the teat of government should be the last ones listened to rather than the taxpayer.

As President Ronal Reagan said, "government is not the solution, it is the problem." It is time Edgefield County learns that lesson.

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