Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

June 8, 2014

Reality

County’s new budget addresses harsh facts

The fiscal 2015 budget adopted last week by the Allegany County Commissioners is rare in at least three respects, compared to often seems to be the norm elsewhere, at least at the state and federal levels: 1. It is $525,000 less than the fiscal 2014 budget.



2. Despite some serious — and emotional — opposition, it takes into account the current facts of local governmental life.



3. It holds the line on taxes. At a time when taxes, fees and expenditures are going up at the Maryland state government level, state funding for Allegany and other counties and municipalities has plummeted by millions of dollars.



The Allegany County Board of Education has been especially hard-hit by this, and the county has lost 90 percent of its Highway User Funds over recent years. The county also expects a 3.5 percent reduction in its share of state-collected income tax — a loss of about $858,000.



Even though the state funding has diminished, the responsibilities for such things education and road maintenance continue to grow. Much of the highway fund has been diverted to build mass transit systems in metropolitan areas that will be of no use to this end of the state. It’s no wonder people call this area “Almost Maryland.”



The biggest opposition to the new county budget comes from the public school sector. Teacher representatives and students attended a recent commissioners’ meeting to protest the budget proposal that would fund public education at the minimum level required by state law.



One student asked, “If we are the future, shouldn’t you invest in us?”



The fact that 84 percent of the county’s general fund expenditures to outside agencies goes to the board of education and Allegany College of Maryland indicates to us that the county is investing in the future.



It also appears to be addressing in serious fashion the unfortunate realities of the present.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Time to do it Time to do it

    It never made sense that criminal background checks were not made on medical license applications in Maryland. Fortunately — for the protection everybody — the background investigations may soon be a matter of routine.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get involved Get involved

    Cumberland residents who want to make an impact on their community have an opportunity in that the city is seeking applicants for five of its boards.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story