Unity will help convince residents

Published 7:49 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

Some of the Chilton County Commissioners met Monday night for a budgetary work session, examining ways to generate much-needed revenue.

In light of current economic downturns, the county, along with many governmental agencies, have seen — in some cases — drastic losses in normal revenue. These revenue losses have meant reductions in services offered, office closures, reduced office times and even personnel cuts.

In Chilton County’s case, efforts to pass a business license bill, aimed at generating more than $1 million in additional revenue, failed due to lack of support in the Alabama Senate. Now, the commissioners are looking for a plan B, C or even D.

Any additional revenue programs will not take effect for months or even next year, presenting the commissioners nearly an impossible task of putting together a balanced budget for the next fiscal year that begins in October.

Their goal is to prevent as many job losses as possible among county employees, but that seems highly unlikely. Cuts must be made to offset the revenue losses and often times, the quickest and hardest cut comes in the form of people.

We hope the commission can come up with seasonable and fiscally responsible plans that do not result in personnel cuts or any further service cuts to county residents.

We’ve already seen departments purge themselves of up to eight percent cuts, and even one department — the tax collections department — cutting out services such as the monthly tag renewal reminders.

Whatever the programs and revenue enhancements offered, we simply ask that all of the commissioners stand behind them, showing a unified front. If the commission wants us to buy in to any program or additional revenue enhancement, then we must see all of them buying into it as well.