EDITORIAL: Cut Porter's budget, but be judicious

2014-06-04T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Cut Porter's budget, but be judicious nwitimes.com
June 04, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Porter County government department heads are being told to cut their 2015 budgets by 10 percent. That looks good for the politicians, but it doesn't address the fact that some government functions are already more lean than others, nor that some are more vital than others.

That budget cuts are necessary should be obvious, especially considering the 2014 budget was adopted by the County Council despite knowing there wasn't enough revenue to justify the amount of spending included in the budget. 

Last week, the council agreed to seek 10 percent cuts for the general fund in next year's budget.

"The Camelot years are over," council President Dan Whitten said again.

Department heads who don't submit budgets with 10 percent cuts will be provided council assistance in getting those budgets pared.

For some departments, that's easier said than done.

If the council really wants to shake things up and cut costs, get moving on a merger for the financial functions into a single department. 

Make sure all finance employees are cross-trained so they can cover for workers who take time off for illness, vacation or other reason. 

The total quality management effort pursued by county Auditor Bob Wichlinski, Treasurer Mike Bucko and Assessor Jon Snyder was headed in that direction anyway. Make it happen.

And while some departments are so small, or so vital, that a 10 percent cut would be devastating, make it clear to department heads that 10 percent of the total budget will be cut, no matter what. Department heads should either propose at least a 10 percent cut or make it very plain why that can't happen.

That should get the county to a budget that can be supported with the existing revenue stream.

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