Just prior to writing this, I had to serve as referee in a dispute involving two 18 year old boys and a mountain of Halloween candy. Fortunately, the action was in good fun, and I came out of the deal with two mini Kit Kats and no bumps or bruises. By this time next year, both of my sons will be away at college, so I am enjoying every minute of their company while I have the opportunity.
A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• In case you didn’t see it in this week’s Journal, mark your calendar for the open house at the county highway department on Saturday, November 4, 2017, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. This will be an opportunity for the taxpayers of Lincoln County to tour the facility at 219 Highway H in Troy just north of Highway 47. Visitors will not only be able to see the equipment, but also visit with the people who operate it. I encourage everyone to come out and see the progressive strides that are being made in the operation. Taxpayers want accountability, and this is a golden opportunity to walk into the heart of one of our largest departments to see firsthand how your tax dollars are being spent.
• The Commission has begun to make some preliminary calculations for the 2018 budget. Budget time, in spite of the occasional disputes that accompany it, continues to be one of my favorite times of the year. As I prepare to participate in the budget process for the 8th time, I am hopeful that everyone can unite around the common goal of fiscal responsibility to craft another conservative financial plan.
• I was recently asked how the County can spend money held in reserve and still be considered fiscally responsible. Put very simply, we are not an investment firm tasked with accumulating huge amounts of cash. Rather, we are entrusted with tax dollars to provide as much of a particular service (roads for example) as we can while maintaining a healthy reserve balance. By design, we do try to save money in reserve for particular projects and draw them out for those projects. At no time do we take the reserve balances below what we consider to be a safe level. Even when we do make a “withdrawal” for a project, we historically keep our reserve balances at 1 ½ to 2 times our safety net.
That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…