Cutbacks are in the cards

March 4, 2014 

We don't know all the specifics of the Collinsville Area Recreation District's finances, but Director Terry Wilson's gloom and doom at a meeting this week seems out of proportion to a tax rollback.

Yes, the voters lowered the property tax rate, but it was a 25 percent cut for just three of 11 funds. Overall, that means a 10 percent drop in revenue.

Obviously Wilson would prefer revenue to go up rather than down, but it's hard to believe there isn't enough money to ensure that the parks are well-maintained.

The reason voters cut taxes in the first place was because they felt the district was wasting their money, and with reason. Talking now about reversing the cuts or finding revenue-generating enterprises to replace the lost tax dollars misses the voters' message: They want park district spending scaled back.

Wilson said he understands he was hired in part to regain the public's trust. He and the CARD board can best do that by defining priorities then operating the district with the funds that are available.

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