Extra funds are beneficial, but only if governments and public agencies make the money work for the public. Two ways to do that: give the money back to taxpayers who can circulate it in the local economy, or invest in economic development.
For individual residents and families, saving money in case of rainy days makes sound financial sense.
For governments and public agencies, it makes little to none.
Unfortunately, many of our local leaders don’t seem to agree.
Local agencies with a surplus of funds right now are being shortsighted by not investing those funds back into the community or giving the money back to the rightful owners — the taxpayers.
Squirreling money away doesn’t do the public any good. It doesn’t put money into the community or allow residents or private businesses to put it to better use.
It merely sits there, doing little to help or enhance.
A more worthwhile course, particularly for our local governments, is to invest the money into economic development via new business recruitment or infrastructure improvements.
Either tract would be a progressive action and could help Craig and Moffat County break loose from these difficult economic times on its own rather than be passive and hope things turnaround.
But, this philosophy doesn’t seem to be the prevailing opinion of our leaders.
We think they’re not being progressive enough when it comes to bettering the community through economic development. It’s not a big enough priority right now and that has to change, particularly at a time when extra funds are available and we can afford, albeit mildly, to experiment and try new things.
We offer kudos to those local governments and public agencies that have managed their budgets well during this difficult economy, and for being frugal and looking at ways to streamline operations.
However, days of flush accounts won’t last long — for anyone — unless our community as a whole takes a serious look at ways to bolster this economy.
And that, above all else, is the only bottom line that matters.
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