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Make your voice heard

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By Ralph Damiani

Monday, the council begins hearings on its 2010 budget and we urge you to make your voice heard.

The hearings are open to the public and begin Monday with an overview and ideas from our elected officials.

Tuesday, the discussion will be on capital projects; Thursday the council will discuss operating budgets. All of the budget hearings will begin at 7 p.m. and be held in council chambers.

If you have a concern or comment, now – not six months from now – is the time to get up and speak.

This is not a small matter. The county is looking at spending some $182 million – an increase of more than $5 million over last year.

One item of interest is that the county predicts that the general fund will see an increase this year of about  $13 million in revenues. That may explain the higher spending, but is all this spending we are doing really necessary?

Come to the meeting and let the council know what you think.

This increase is largely from lab spending and is not expected to continue over time. What should the council do?

In that same vein, how much of a reserve does the county need? There are millions of dollars in the fund now. Is this too much? Not enough?

Let the council know what you think.

This is a very critical time for us all here. We are doing well now, but as the lab reduces its construction and spending, the county’s revenues will decrease.

Can this be made up with other developments – say the Trinity Project – is the question? While we have money, how do we best spend it?

The council is the point on these issues, they are not the sole source of direction.

Make them aware of what you think, where we should go and how best you think we should get there.

Be part of the process, be part of the solution.