Our county and most cities for that matter, continue to live off the Boom Time…. now BUST. While businesses have taken draconian 20-30% cuts, government continues to live LARGE. A 5% here and there reduction is appreciated, but it’s time like the rest of Hall County to cut into the bone and show us the beef.
Consolidate departments, cut back hours, reduce personnel, defer maintenance, postpone public works, shut down offices, eliminate double dip employment retirement policies, scale back pension 401K and adjust employee healthcare co pays. Private industry did that and more three years ago. Squeeze a dime out of our tax nickel.
All government departments must be part of the solution. For example excesses in the Sheriff’s kingdom are legendary. It’s time to run the jail like a business not a Ritz Carlton for out of town incarcerated guests (rent a prisoner). Moth ball the portions of the jail that doesn’t house Hall County offenders. The concept that “we” make money off of “them” is a bunch of hocus pocus.
Gainesville’s magnanimous statement “We don’t plan to consolidate” is also a vale cry in the wind. All cities are broke without the burden of sales tax dollars, every increasing property taxes and excessive fee revenue. It was previously announced that Gainesville’s 6 million dollar budget “surplus” is being spent on other excesses rather than returning to the people. If it’s really there, roll it back, give it back.
A declining tax base, minuscule splost tax revenues, the stagnant growth industry and financial institution meltdown will be with us for at least 3 years forward. A tax increase this year? A tax increase next? A tax increases the next? That just puts lipstick on the pig. It’s time to address the issue head on, have strong meaningful reorganization and get Hall County’s house in orde. Then and only Then, Raise Taxes.
The businesses and citizens have done their part, now it’s your turn. We’re watching.