How good to see the Democratic minority leader on board already with her determination to make sure Chautauqua County's spending plan next year eliminates wasteful spending.
Legislator Lori Cornell of Jamestown was sharing her thoughts in reaction to preliminary comments by the man who proposes next year's spending plan - County Executive Gregory Edwards. He will announce that proposal this evening. Then it is the County Legislature's turn to work on it and make whatever changes lawmakers think are wise.
Earlier this week Edwards wrote about increases in the county's share of Medicaid costs. He also put dollars and cents to the cost of contractual increases for wages and benefits for county employees as well as payments for retirees. Those three items, he said, will increase by $3.8 million next year.
We make that out to be a bit over a 6 percent increase of the property tax levy if $3.8 million is outright tacked on to this year's budget and nothing else is changed.
We can imagine Edwards was gratified to read Cornell's reaction. She said the county needs to grow the tax base and cut the waste.
''... the real answer to our local budget woes is within our control," she declared.
Yes. At the heart of it, the county budget is a policy statement. Through the budget, the County Legislature defines its goals and then funds the things that are needed to reach them.
We expect Edwards' proposed spending plan will be available on the Web quickly.
We join him in encouraging everyone to look at it carefully and then follow along as we bring you detailed coverage of the legislature's budget deliberations over the next few weeks.