Deciding which programs to fund

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 22, 2016

Throughout the country, many small towns and counties struggle economically. When it comes to creating a budget, which is now happening throughout Pearl River County, our leaders are tasked with funding each department that allows our cities and county to function.
I’ll be the first one to admit, I would not want that task. Every move elected officials make is scrutinized by the public, as it should be, since it’s our tax dollars that fund the day-to-day operations of our municipalities.
In this economic climate, many households struggle to afford the basic needs for their families. You may have to give up something you want in order to purchase necessities.
But how do you begin to put a cap on a certain service that is vital to your community?
This week, Pearl River County Library System Director Carol Phares approached the Poplarville Board of Aldermen and requested a $5,000 increase in funding. She hopes to be able to offer a livable, above poverty wage, to the Poplarville Library’s next librarian.
In order for our library to be able to keep up with the times, the system will have to be run by those with degrees in library science and who are current on the many technological advances.
However, while I believe the library is a crucial and necessary component to any city, I also believe that our police, fire and public works departments are just are as important.
How does one begin to decide who gets what portion of our tax dollars?
There are so many other departments to consider, including public works and roads.
We all want smooth roads to travel on and the protection of our men and women in blue. But, if we don’t have libraries, I believe it will hurt the generations to come. Young adults have come to rely on the Internet and its often-undocumented sources for their research.
We need our libraries just as we need police and fire departments to be funded to such an extent that officers and firefighters can carry out their jobs safely.
I can only ask our leaders that they be good stewards with our tax dollars and make the best decisions for our community.

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