Tight budget keeps county afloat

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You can’t spend money you don’t have. So many made the choice to ignore that bit of conventional wisdom in recent years, and that has partly helped create the economic trouble we all now face.

Credit card debt and the like helped make tough times even tougher for many. Some positive signs in the economy appear to be peeking over the horizon, but times are still tight for most Shelby County families and businesses. Our county government and municipal governments are no different.

The sound of collective belt tightening can be heard countywide, and that’s a sign of tough times, fiscal responsibility and wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

A good example of that belt tightening came earlier this week as the Shelby County Commission passed unanimously the county’s budget for the coming year.

Spartan by no means at just over $84 million, the budget eliminates nearly 30 unfilled county jobs, throttles back capital spending and holds remaining budget line items in check with recent years.

The approved budget comes in $3 million less than the one adopted just one year ago.

One does not need to look far to find examples of how the economy has impacted so many in our communities: shuttered businesses, home foreclosures, and laid-off employees.

Just as we all know trimming budgets for your home, business or charity organization does not come without some sacrifice, so to is the case with Shelby County’s budget for the coming year.

Cutting costs to match income is never a pleasant experience and always leaves worthy expenditures waiting for better times.

However, living within our means, as families, businesses and governments, is the only prudent course of action.

That’s true in good times and not so good times