EdgefieldDaily.com               "Edgefield County as it Happens"

Featured
Sections

Headlines
Opinion
Obituaries
Sports
Crime Blotter
Stolen Property
Happenings
Country Cooking
Wandering Minds
Classifieds
Birthdays 

Off The Wall
Cartoons
On The Record
Archives
Church Listings







Featured Columns
Dr. Myers
Carl Langley
Editor's Column


Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield County

2005 Crime Stats

Video & Audio Updates
Audio Archive
(Testing)
Video Archive

Contact us
Contact Info
or
E-mail the Editor
Phone:
803-634-0964 day
803-279-5041 eve
803-279-8943 fax

Mail to
EdgefieldDaily.com
PO Box 972
Edgefield SC
29824


School System
EC District Office
School Board
Strom Thurmond

Charter Schools
Fox Creek

Private Schools

Wardlaw Academy

Public Offices
Edgefield County
Edgefield
Johnston
Trenton

Political
State and Federal Legislative Contacts

Local Political Parties
Republican Party
Democrat Party

Chamber of Commerce
Edgefield County Chamber

Historical

Edgefield Genealogical
Society


News links    
Edgefield Advertiser
The Citizen News
Aiken Standard
North Augusta Star
The State
Augusta Chronicle
Atlanta  Journal
United Press
Associated Press
FOX News
Reuters
CNS News
WorldNet Daily
Newsmax
Drudge Report
GoogleNews
Yahoo!News
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
Washington Times
Washington Post


Editorial

County Budget, Public Hearing in disarray


web posted May 4, 2009
OPINION – The Edgefield County Council will be holding a Public Hearing on the coming fiscal year’s budget, as well as a second reading, on Tuesday night May 5, at 6 pm. Or is it the publicly announced date of May 19 at 6 pm? It appears our county administration is just as confused about what it going on with the budget process as some members on the county council are about what the budget includes.

That is not very inspiring. When the ones elected or appointed to see to it that our county government is run properly, and that they are good stewards of our tax dollars, just seem to be on autopilot as the ship is on a path to be run aground is a scary thought not a reassuring one.

Fortunately County Council members Rodney Ashcraft and Genia Blackwell are the only ones who at least have grabbed a paddle to try to steer the ship from its dangerous course, but being in the minority their attempts seem futile. Both, however, have vowed to continue their fight for fiscal responsibility.

Councilwoman Blackwell offered an amendment to the budget on April 21 that would have balanced the budget and fully funded the promised benefits package to county employees. It was a bold plan rooted in her more than 20-years experience in business and the financial markets - needs and the sustainability of functions of the company (or government in this case) with loyal employees should be the priority, without an increase in taxes.  

Councilman Ashcraft joined Blackwell in support of the amendment but they were shot down on a 3-2 vote by the long-term majority, most who has served on the county council for 20-years each.

County Council Chairman Monroe Kneece, who joined the majority in shooting down the amendment, stated he did not see a need to make any changes in the budget because they (the council) did not know what the final revenue sources from the state would be until June. That runs contrary to the March vote to change the budget to give $17,500 not budgeted to the Edgefield Civic League. When asked by Administrator John Pettigrew where the majority expected to find the money to pay for it Kneece exclaimed, “We’ll find it somewhere.” That “somewhere” ended up being an increase in taxes.  

We question Mr. Kneece on his waffling. If there is no need to worry about changing the budget to accept the amendment loaded with cuts, most of which county department heads readily agreed to, then why change it to add a tax increase for the sole purpose of giving the money away?

Perhaps that answer is found in what few people know about the Blackwell amendment and what it would have done for the county taxpayer had it been accepted. It would have forced the Edgefield County Council members to go on record by vote for every dollar of taxpayer monies that were given away to organizations that have nothing to do with operating the county government.

In addition, it would have forced council members to either bring forth additional cuts to pay for the give-aways or go on record to raise taxes to give taxpayers money away in these dire economic times.

What a beautiful thing.

Sadly, the amendment failed along party lines. Democrats Kneece, Dorn, and Bright voted to increase taxes to fund non-governmental agencies while imposing a decrease in pay for the “little guys” who work for the county and pay those very taxes in additional to all other taxpayers. Republicans Genia Blackwell and Rodney Ashcraft voted against the tax and spend budget that includes Pork in its purest form.

There will be a Public Hearing on the budget for the taxpayers to offer their views, at this time the actual date is unknown as the county has advertised one date and planned on another. The public notice in the Citizen News (Wed. April 29, pg 5) states the date as March 19 at 6 pm, which coincides with the date of the next budget workshop, or the “pony show” as Chairman Kneece calls them. However, council members have confirmed the Public Hearing is on the agenda for the May 5 meeting at 6 pm. 

We would suggest attending every meeting as a public comment period is held each time regardless of a public hearing. The only way for your voice to be heard is to stand up and speak.

 
 




For all past articles please visit our Archives

 © Copyright 2009 EdgefieldDaily.com  All original material is property of EdgefieldDaily.com and cannot be reproduced, rewritten or redistributed without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com

Additional Ad locations available
Contact Us









Parting Shots
A new book by Columnist Carl Langley

-------

JAM Straight Customs


NOTICE:
We still need recipes for Cooking Section

WEBNEWS –  Send in your favorite or favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in. With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking, grilling, sauces, and deserts!  Send in your submissions here.