I haven't paid close attention to county politics long enough to recall if times were as bad as they are now. Lately, it's been one dreadful story after another: corruption, ineptitude, cronyism, infighting, etc. Now commissioners are struggling to get a grip on the budget deficit at hand.
We've been told that the budget shortfall is a result of decreased oil and gas lease revenues, but Patricia Barrera sees is another way.
Instead of saving that money for a rainy day, putting it away, they would have the auditor come and tell them, this is how much (in) payroll savings; they would change it to different funds, 604 and 605. And in that one meeting, they would spend all the money. So there was never any savings.Statement via KGNS interview (Jerry Garza)
Our politicians, and perhaps the media as well, like to attribute fluctuating revenues on external forces. But it's clear that our county dads (borrowed that term from Odie Arambula) took it for granted that oil and gas money would always be there.
The Eagle Ford Shale play was supposed to provide sustained prosperity to our local economies. Alas, that wasn't the case. As fast as the gold rush came, it went. And now the county has to make drastic changes, among them: cuts to third-party funding, and a proposed 40 percent slash in community center budgets.
The LMT headline yesterday was: BUDGET MEETING GETS INTENSE: Officials discuss cutting jobs, funding (Judith Rayo).
I haven't seen the footage of the budget workshop held Tuesday, but I'm sure it was a doozy. If there was yelling, I want to document that. I'll update this post as things go along.