Editorials

Public safety, taxpayers both win after bi-partisan work

The Madison County Board is dominated by Republicans for the first time in decades. Their new budget cuts taxes and increases law enforcement staffing.
The Madison County Board is dominated by Republicans for the first time in decades. Their new budget cuts taxes and increases law enforcement staffing. Belleville News-Democrat

Another deputy. Four new jailers. A new public defender, a deputy coroner, a probation officer. One more full-time and one part-time prosecutor.

All that extra firepower in law enforcement, and they did it while asking for $1.8 million less from Madison County’s property taxpayers.

In the first year that Madison County voters brought in a wave of Republicans to end decades of Democratic domination, it sounds like the checks and balances of a two-party system are working. Public safety and public funding of county government both won.

The Madison County Board passed a $30.7 million budget Wednesday. There were cuts to the county clerk, recorder and mental health departments, but this effort after more than 30 hours of negotiations follows the right taxpayer priorities: No. 1, be frugal; No. 2, keep the public safe.

To think they accomplished all this without a penny sales tax, but rather with a tax cut is especially impressive.

And a lesson for the high-fliers in St. Clair County, whose priority is dumping another $8.29 million into a losing airport while sending its law enforcement community out to beg for enough money to do their jobs.

  Comments