Everybody wants a slice of the pie

Published 11:02 am Friday, April 29, 2016

The governing bodies of Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight are all engaged in budget talks these days — it’s a rite of spring, but without the pretty flowers at the end.

The major part of the ordeal is how to distribute a limited amount of money to a seemingly endless demand for services.

Nearly everyone who comes before a council or board of supervisors has justifiable reasons for how much they seek from the budget pie.

For example, at last week’s Isle of Wight public hearing for the county’s proposed budget, many county residents championed the school budget’s request, while others put forth a need for more law enforcement.

Our leaders take all requests into consideration and then make their decisions. Some are “winners,” if you can call them that, and others are not so fortunate.

Residents of any localities should be aware that there’s often, if not routinely, the chance that taxes will be raised to pay for the needed police protection, firefighters, teachers, utilities and other necessities. It’s up to them to let their leaders know whether or not that’s acceptable. If so, then the revenue can ensure a continuation of services. If not, then sacrifices will need to be made.

Publicly or privately, let your leaders know how you want the budget for next fiscal year to be shaped.