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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

When the going gets tough

There are different ways to respond to financial stresses. There is the outsourcing approach:

In an effort to cut $2 million from FWCS' budget, the board voted in March to look at outsourcing custodial work. Of 10 proposals, a committee chose Sodexo, an international company with U.S. headquarters in Maryland that serves 6,000 clients in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

[. . .]

The district estimates Sodexo's offer will save an additional $2 million, for a $4 million total in savings. Friend said the money will be put toward next school year's budget cuts, estimated at this time to total $8 million, or support programming currently funded by stimulus money.

This is an approach conservatives can applaud. By not assuming something has to be done the way it's always been done, FWCS will get the same services done for less money, and the private sector will grow a bit as the public one shrinks a bit. And the company will likely even hire many of the current custodial staff, though probably at smaller salaries.

Huntington, alas, chooses a more conventional approach. It's inconceivable to cut services or lower spending, so more money must be taken in:

Huntington residents must now pay $10 more each month as part of the new "city services refuse collection fee."

[. . .]

But that money won't only go towards trash pick-up.

It will also go towards other city services like road improvements and also towards cutting down the city's one million dollar budget deficit.

Never mind the "collection fee" nonsense. This is just a tax with another name, as the city unintentionally admits by revealing that the money will also go toward "other services."