County Candidates Should Budget Time For Meetings

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The most important business that takes place each year in Cannon County Government is underway, and few people have chosen to participate in the process so far.

Members of the Cannon County Commission's Budget Committee are in the process of reviewing and discussing the county's budget for the fiscal year 2010-2011.

The members — Mark Barker, Greg Mitchell and Bill Jennings — have met each of the last two weeks in the courtroom of the Cannon County Courthouse.

They are going over the proposed budgets for the next fiscal year submitted by every county department.

Decisions are being reached on how much money the county will take from its citizens to provide them with services, what it will be spent on, and how it will be spent.

What is at stake are matters of citizens' rights, health, education, economic well-being, safety and security and community stability and wellness.

Following last Thursday night's meeting, we realized that far too few people were involving themselves in a process that effects everyone living in the county.

In government, as in business, as in life, money rules. The people who hold county office or run county departments do not have power unless they have money, and control over how, and the way, it is spent.

We have not seen during the two meetings to date all of the heads of the departments whose budgets are being reviewed and debated.

We have not seen all of the candidates who are seeking to hold county offices in the August 5 General Election.

It is our opinion all candidates for county offices should be in attendance at these meetings. They should feel it an obligation to the citizens they seek to serve to witness the process, to hear what takes place, to learn how business in this county is conducted.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the courthouse. Hopefully the participation of those people who want to remain in leadership positions, or who seek to assume them as of Sept. 1, will be greater than it has been to date.

Kevin Halpern, Editor
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Members Opinions:
April 26, 2010 at 10:22am
First We have heard about these meetings...
April 26, 2010 at 4:30pm
I often wonder about these meetings between our commissioners and our "so-called" county executive as well when it concerns the budgets.
I listened to the audio tape of Rebekah Parton and Mike Gannon concerning her questions about the REACH program. At one point in the conversation, Mike tells Rebekah that she "needs to go over the budget with Dianne because she knows more about the budget than I do".

That strikes me as a serious flaw and a major concern that a man who has been in office for almost eight years makes a statement that his secretary knows more about the budget than he does when he is the person elected to run our county.

Now I try to look at all of the candidates evenly, but when a elected official is relying more on his secretary than his ownself, I believe it is time to look elsewhere for someone who takes the job more seriously and is not just a political figurehead.

I wish there was more open communication on when these meetings were held because I do find it interesting that no one seems to know about them until after the meetings have been held.

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