Houston. We have a budget.

I can’t say that I am overjoyed by the all of the particulars of the County’s budget as passed last night, because a few of my oxen were gored in the process; namely school funding and an historic preservation position.  But it seems that the bipartisan ‘gang-of-six’ commissioners who held together to adopt the budget spread the pain around pretty evenly.

Every once in a while, it is a healthy thing for governments to contract instead of continuously expand.  (That is if you can call a 2-cents per $100.00 rise in property taxes a contraction.)

Commission chair Paul Gibson said the adopted budget, “…will probably make most people unhappy“, which, if true (and it likely is), is a much better way to govern than to only make a few people unhappy.

Our City Council has the next turn at the chopping block.  Let’s see how may pissed off people they can stomach.

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  1. Posted June 22, 2007 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    David, I wasn’t able to attend the meeting.

    Which preservation position was cut? Surely is wasn’t Julie Curry?

  2. Benjamin Briggs
    Posted June 22, 2007 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Yes, it was Julie Curry’s position. The Guilford County preservation program now has no staff to oversee issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness, Cemetery stewardship, or monitering of tax deferment. I have been promised by Greg Niles of the county planning office and Kirk Perkins that the Commission would have another staff person assigned to duty, but I am not sure that staff person will be trained for the position in any way, and will likely wear many other hats. This is disturbing to me as chair because this is a program that is in part funded by “dues” contributed by participating cities such as Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, etc.

  3. Posted June 22, 2007 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Benjamin, would it be fair to say that if Guilford Co. does not fund a staff person for preservation, they have effectively stolen the dues paid by the municipalities for that purpose?

  4. Benjamin Briggs
    Posted June 22, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot has to be figured out between now and when I can answer that question. I am still hopeful that there may be a happy solution to this situation that does not detract from the solid and knowledgeable work Julie and the commission have done over the past several years.

  5. Posted June 23, 2007 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Grr. They took non profit funding too. The Center for Visual Artists, a non profit arts organization, is going to lose funding, which might directly affect my job there. And with the schools cutting arts left and right, the county has pretty much hobbled all of the other organizations that might be able to provide any sort of arts education to the children of GUilford County.

  6. Brenda Bowers
    Posted June 23, 2007 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I was happy to see most of the cuts for as Paul Gibson said the County really should stick to what government is supposed to do for the entire community and leave the special interest programs for private donations. However, I do feel in some cases they threw out the baby with the bath water.I was especially upset about the cuts to the homeless. The arts and dance programs and such will be funded by people who are interested and use the programs, but not a soul but Cara Michele and a few more like her give a hoot about homeless families or the mentally ill roaming our streets.