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.