The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 14, 2014

No simple task in creating budget


If we looked at each expenditure like a pizza, we’d have plenty of pepperonis to digest.

To isolate each cost into one example isn’t a true representation of what’s happening. Every few months there is a new pizza. It’s lowering tax rates today and next week Internal Operations Committee members will discuss solid waste rates. Sure, the lower tax rate may be the cost of a pizza, but how much will an increase in the solid waste rate be?

And what’s next?

In order to get that savings, City Council members should think about the consequences of their actions. Saving money for property owners is a good thing. Eliminating more services may not be a good thing down the road.

And ultimately these decisions rest in the City Council’s hands, no matter what officials say.

The cuts will shut down the Lyons branch of the Clinton Public Library. I wrote last week about my hope that city leaders wouldn’t always look to services as options to cut. It’s not that I entirely disagree with closing the branch, but as a member of the community, I want to keep as many activities available for my family and as a way to lure people to live in this area.

During Tuesday’s meeting, City Councilman Ed O’Neill referenced the Library Board as the culprit behind the branch’s closing. Technically, the Library Board did decide to close the branch.

However, the funding is provided by the City Council, meaning if the city provides the library with less money, there’s nothing the Library Board can do. The Library Board makes the decision of what to cut, but city officials directed library representatives to keep from eliminating staff. That doesn’t leave many options.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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