Monday, April 5, 2010

Government At Work

As with most government agencies, the Pierce County Council is struggling with budget shortfalls. This one is to the tune of $5.5 million. They will be voting on the new budget tomorrow. Instead of searching for places to cut waste and excess, Councilman Roger Bush, has proposed cutting, among other things, $200,000 from the budget of Washington State University(WSU) Pierce County Extension (PCE) Office.

WSU is the university that governs the 4H program in Washington state. In order for any of the 39 counties to have a 4H program, they must have an extension office. The funds currently available to the PCE office amount to $275,000. It doesn't take a financial whiz to realize that lopping $200,000 from that budget will result in the closure of the PCE office. This closure would be effective immediately, and with it the disbandment of the Pierce County 4H program.

To target the budget and support of programs which provide meaningful activities for our youth is both irresponsible and short sighted.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of adults who volunteer numerous hours toward the conduct of these programs. Many of the youth who are approaching voting age have been members of 4H for much of their childhood. As a program dedicated towards teaching life skills, 4H, for some youth, represents the difference between energy that is channeled towards the good, as opposed to mischief. Does this Council want to be remembered as the group who brought about the demise of the program?

Of course all of this was presented with typical government "transparency". The notifications of this proposal were sent out late last Friday night. With a vote set for tomorrow. When doing something unpopular no point in letting the people have a say in the matter.

I'm feeling a bit disenchanted these days.


Buck said...

I'm feeling a bit disenchanted these days.

THAT might be the understatement of the year. You are NOT alone, FWIW.

Buckskins Rule said...

I've been known to be understated on more than a few things.

Gordon said...

This is the sort of thing that can really piss off the voters. I've seen similar things happen around here. The voters won't approve a bond issue or tax increase to keep teacher and staff pay increasing. So the school board, to make their petty point, starts lopping off programs, rather than making the hard choices.

Haunt the sonofabitch. Let him know that there are people out there who know what an ass he is, and who will work to turn him out of office.

Daphne said...

Welcome to the club.

My city council decided to spend several million dollars on bike trails, doesn't seem to matter that we're running in the red and they're closing things like libraries and pools.

Gordon said...

I don't have any problem with bike trails, especially if they're installed when a road is rebuilt. But very often the bicycle mafia wants them where there's not enough room, so the businesses along the trails lose their storefront parking.

And in bigger cities, where there's enough population for liberal interest groups to flourish, councilmembers tend to listen to the groups, not to business owners.