Challenging times for government? Cut the fat

March 31, 2013

Proclaiming that ours are "fiscally challenging times" has become a mantra of elected officials. Their solutions range from cutting services and furloughing employees to raising taxes.

Yet little attention is paid to the fat in the budget. When Baltimore County Councilman David Marks and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz met with Perry Hall residents, they wondered how overcrowding in schools could be alleviated during this "fiscally challenging time."

This was the same David Marks who vowed in his campaign that he would not take a county vehicle — yet replaced his car after it died with a county-owned vehicle.

Although the per annum cost was a minuscule part of the overall county budget, that money could have been used to pay for a teacher, a fire fighter or a policeman.

Is the solution to bloated government to starve the beast? Too often, the result is a cut in essential services.

I appreciate living in a county with good schools, roads, libraries, parks, etc. All I ask is that our elected officials make an honest appraisal of their expenditures before they wring their hands and speak of these "fiscally challenging times."

Mary "Sherry" Locke, Ruxton

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